The Association of British Insurers has launched the Annuity Window to help retiring pension investors get the best deal from their retirement income.
The initiative is compulsory for all ABI members selling annuities to the public and will feature rates from 24 companies, including those which do not currently compete for annuity customers on the open market.
The Annuity Window will not publish live current rates. Instead the ABI regularly surveys member's annuity rates for 12 fictional customer profiles which users can use as a guide.
However, it points users towards the Association of Professional Financial Advisers should people need advice. Links to the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service are also provided.
Hargreaves Lansdown's head of pensions research Tom McPhail welcomed the service: "Over time, this Annuity Window will allow us to track the competitiveness of different pension companies' annuity offerings and to identify those companies which consistently fail to come up to scratch.
"The ABI should be applauded for taking this initiative, however there is still more work to be done to make sure every defined contribution pension investor quickly and easily shops around for the best deal as a matter of course."
Partnership's managing director of retirement Andrew Megson believes the service could help more retirees benefit from an enhanced annuity.
"According to Partnership research, just 13% of consumers realised that they could get less income from their annuity if they chose to stay with their existing pension provider," he said. "Therefore, we welcome this move by the ABI as it clearly highlights the value of consumers taking the time to shop around and identify the best annuity for their individual circumstances.
"In addition, our own analysis has revealed that more than 50% of 65 year olds have a health or lifestyle condition that could make them eligible for an enhanced annuity. However, in 2012, just 4% of people who take out a product with their existing pension provider choose this type of annuity. "
The service can be accessed HERE
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