Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments on the Financial Services Consumer Panel review into the annuity purchasing experience for consumers.

10 Dec 2013

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments on the Financial Services Consumer Panel review into the annuity purchasing experience for consumers:

"Purchasing an annuity will be one of the most important financial decisions a person makes in their lifetime and decisions made at this time will have an impact on retirement income for many years ahead. More needs to be done to explain to consumers how they can go about finding the best annuity for their needs and which factors are important in getting the best outcome.

“Our Get Advised research shows only 27% of people believe they’d be confident arranging an annuity without the help of a financial adviser, clearly showing the value whole of market, professional advice can add when people are making this important decision. We also know that there can be a significant uplift in retirement income as a result of seeking advice from a specialist professional adviser. The industry’s focus needs to be on helping consumers understand the annuity purchase process so they can make smart choices. Clearly with low consumer confidence in making the right decision at such an important time, whole of market advice has a huge part to play.

“Annuity purchasing is only one part of the pension planning picture though. Clearly there is still the wider issue that needs to be addressed around long-term saving for retirement and building up a sufficient pension pot to retire on, which comes down to planning properly for the future and seeking whole of market advice before the 'at retirement' stage.

“Unbiased.co.uk, which lists over 25,000 professional advisers on its search, holds details of 8,000 advisory businesses specialising on retirement in general and 4,500 who list annuities specifically. Over 3,000 of these advisers specifically state they advise clients with smaller pension pots of £50,000 or less.  For anyone approaching retirement who needs to make decisions about their future go to www.unbiased.co.uk to search for and consult a whole of market annuity specialist.”

Notes to editors:

For more information contact:

Emily Falla / Kate Aitchison Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682

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Category: Pensions & Retirement Tagged: Annuities

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