Annuity referral specialists, The Annuity Team, have responded to the report by the National Association of Pension Funds which branded annuity selling as 'unfair and opaque'.
This has caught the attention of the press as it estimates half a million retirees are missing out on as much as £1billion in future pension income because of how pension providers behave towards and communicate with those about to retire.
Scott Lewis, Head of Annuities at The Annuity Team, says: “The report highlighted a number of obstacles that people face when coming up to retirement.”
“The main obstacle appeared to be that clients with smaller funds, under £50,000 - which is the vast majority of people - find it difficult to obtain financial advice due to the challenges that many advisers face making money on the smaller cases.”
The Annuity Team, based in Knutsford, Cheshire, says that IFAs who believe they lose money on smaller pension funds should use their referral service.
“Our annuity referral service was set up in the knowledge that financial advisers struggle to make money from pension funds under a certain level. Many advisers will process the business at a loss to maintain an existing relationship, but there are so many retirees out there who receive no advice,” adds Scott.
“We are more than happy to offer information and guidance to all clients, regardless of the size of their pension fund and our service was designed specifically to allow all clients to be served equally, offering them access to the Open Market Option.”
“The Annuity Team’s referral service couldn’t be simpler.
“We simply need contact details for the client and we will take care of the rest,” says Scott.
“We give the client factual information and guidance, then search our panel of leading annuity providers - which includes a number of specialist enhanced providers – and present the information to the client so they can choose what suits them best.”
Scott added: “It’s the perfect solution for all parties. The client receives information and guidance they would otherwise not have received and are able to make an informed choice about what suits them best and the referring adviser is serving his client’s interests whilst saving time for his core business, then receives a referral fee at completion – which can add up to thousands of pounds over time – which of course, goes straight on his bottom line.”
Financial advisers are not the only people who can benefit from this service; product providers, networks, employee benefits specialists and group schemes can all see additional benefits by offering their clients a route to the Open Market Option.
Scott added: “We do not charge the client a fee for the service, as we receive commission from the chosen annuity provider if the client proceeds.
“This is seen to be one of the major obstacles when pension funds are small and I believe our service offers the ideal solution to this.”
Scott says that The Annuity Team manages the whole process from quotation to completion on behalf of the client and IFAs can view progress via an online case tracking system.
“Clients get a dedicated named point of contact and a smooth and straightforward customer journey,” says Scott, “and all lifestyle and medical information is obtained to ensure that clients get enhanced annuity rate quotations where applicable.”
“Because we only arrange annuities on a non-advised basis, IFAs can be sure that there will be no attempts to cross-sell other products to their clients. Likewise, we can reassure IFAs that their client remains their client and no data is passed elsewhere,” he stressed.
The Annuity Team operates a panel of leading annuity providers, including specialist enhanced annuity providers.
Legal & General
For further information about The Annuity Team, please visit http://www.theannuityteam.co.uk or telephone 0845 050 75 10 or email@example.com
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