The recent launch of the ABI's Annuity Window has sparked debate as to how best to serve retirees. Helen Morrissey asks what constitutes a good quality shopping around service.
The ABI's Annuity Window is just one of a slew of new services launched in recent months to help people shop around for a retirement income.However, the initiative has not been without its critics.
Despite receiving an estimated 27,500 visits in a week concerns were raised about the fact live rates were not used on the site and that only ABI members were quoted.
Responding to the criticism, the ABI's head of savings, retirement and social care Yvonne Braun said the service is "about promoting understanding of different types of products and providers, and motivating people to shop around for the best deal".
She added that the service should not be seen as "a silver bullet that makes all consumers take optimal decisions at retirement."
So what does constitute a good quality shopping around service at-retirement?
Partnership's head of product development Mark Stopard believes that while current services have a role to play a more joined up approach is needed.
"My take on the ABI Annuity Window is that it is a good idea," he says. "It is a good way to compare rates but it is hard for one tool to do everything. We need a more joined up approach so that people know where to go to get the best rate.
"I believe the ABI should be doing something slightly different. It should be helping those who have an offer from their pension provider work out if that is the right thing for them. They need validation that what they are doing is correct - that's where I think the ABI's Annuity Window should come in."
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