Lowe expects providers to create annuity shopping services


Banks and providers will create services to help customers shop around for annuities if reforms to the open market option (OMO) succeed, Steve Lowe, director of external affairs at Just Retirement says.

Those services will compete directly with IFAs for at-retirement business, Lowe warned, forcing intermediaries to prove the value of advice over information. Lowe says reform of the OMO to create "default shopping around" for annuities could be in place by 2013. Pension providers are obliged to inform investors they can buy an annuity from rival insurers. In September, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said it will forbid its members from including application forms for their own annuities in at-retirement information packs. Lowe said if plans succeed to force retirees t...

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