You don't have to take the annuity offered by the AVC provider that you have been paying into. You can request a transfer value and get annuity quotes from other companies. Two people who save the same amount with an AVC provider (for the same length of time) will get different payouts even if they trigger the AVC at the same time. Annuities are based on calculations about your life expectancy. Women tend to live longer than men and thus get a poorer payout as they are expected to be drawing the annuity for longer. Those in poor health get a bigger payout than those who are healthy. Smokers get a bigger annual payout than non-smokers.