Life and pensions sales for Standard Life have risen over 50% in the first three months of 2007, driven by strong growth in Self Invested Personal Pensions, although figures reveal protection sales have fallen 44% year-on-year.
According to the new business figures released today, life and pensions new business volumes rose 52% to £3,220m form £2,119m in 2006, which Standard says is driven by a 56% increase in pensions, 28% growth in life products and a ‘strong showing’ of 142% growth in annuities.
On a Present Value of New Business Premiums (PVNBP) basis, Standard says individual Sipp sales - which include insured and non-insured Sipps and drawdown – rose by 117% from £569m in 2006 to £1,233 in the first three months of 2007, resulting in funds under management of £5.3bn.
It claims the increase has been driven by customers taking advantage of the more generous annual contribution limits post A-Day and increasing their use of the Sipp investment flexibility, with Standard confirming 35% of assets in Sipps are now invested in non-insured funds.
Group pensions business also increased by 40% to £582m, which the company attributes to higher increments from existing schemes and increasing volumes of group Sipps - which now account for 25% of its GPP sales.
However, the figures reveals while Sipp and GPP sales are growing, individual pension business has fallen by 37% year-on-year on a PVNBP basis, with a fall of 39% in single premiums and 31% in new regular premium business.
In addition, new protection business has fallen 44% in the first three months of 2007 from £11m in 2006 to £6m in 2007, on a PVNBP basis, while annuity business rose by 142% to £128m, with 94% of sales generated from maturing Standard Life pensions.
The insurer also reveals 38% of its new business comes from non-IFA sales, up from 21% in 2006, while the company’s offshore bond – launched by Standard Life International in January 2006 - has grown by 206% to £24m.
And figures for Standard Life Investments reveals worldwide net investment sales increased to £2,264m, while total funds under management increased by £4.9bn to £137bn, and UK net inflows rose by 9% to £2,129m.
Sandy Crombie, group chief executive of Standard Life, says: “Growth is being driven by strong sales of life and pensions business in the UK with our strategy to focus on the accumulation of customers’ assets.”
He adds: “Strong sales momentum is continuing into the second quarter and is supporting the delivery of the 2007 return on embedded value target. We continue to capitalise on the considerable opportunities available to our business.”
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