Getting the best pension annuity rates is vital in order to maximise your retirement income. To do this you must first compare the market, a process known as the open market option which essentially means shopping around between providers for the best rates possible. This process was introduced back in the mid 1970′s so that those approaching retirement could compare different providers of annuities and not be compelled to take their annuity from the company with which they have been saving their pension. Unfortunately the reality is that many retirees do not bother to compare providers as they feel it is easier and more convenient to take their annuity from their incumbent provider. However, you can only get the very best pension annuity rates by shopping around.