Aviva is extending guarantees and offering an increased value protection period on annuities.
The ‘Annuity Value Protection' will be available to all annuity customers. Under this protection, if a customer should pass away within 90 days of the start date of their annuity, the insurer will return their original pension fund to their estate (less any payments made from the fund).
Under the new ‘Default One Year Guarantee', Aviva will make annuity payments to a customer's estate for the rest of the year if they pass away after 90 days (but within the first policy year) of purchasing an annuity.
Optional longer guarantees will be available for any customer with dependents, to choose when they purchase their annuity.
Alongside these product changes, Aviva is calling for the industry to automatically underwrite all annuities and ensure non-advised annuity sales meet the same transparency standards as advised sales.
Clive Bolton, managing director of Aviva's at retirement business said: "We hope this is just the first step and that the rest of the annuity industry will follow our lead by making such guarantees a standard feature of their annuity offering."
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