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&#3959% of public would not buy an annuity&#39

Fifty-nine per cent of the population would not buy an annuity if they were not legally required to do so, according to research by Watson Wyatt.

The survey of 3,500 people aged between 50 and 64 shows that 74 per cent say the principal reason for not wanting an annuity is the preference for flexibility.

Forty-six per cent feel they could generate more income from their fund themselves, 45 per cent say the income from annuities is too low, 38 per cent want to pass on assets and 37 per cent believe they will not live long enough to enjoy their fair share of the benefits.

Some people also indicate a lack of trust in the insurance companies providing annuities.

The results show that people with good health are more likely to want to annuitise, as were those with greater incomes and smaller households.

The research, carried out at the end of last year by online pollster YouGov, suggests that the dislike of annuities reflects a low regard for the positive features of annuities such as security and sustainability of income.

Watson Wyatt spokes-man Mike Wadsworth says: “Market and regulatory changes may meet some of the objections to annuities identified in this research but opposition to annuitisation was remarkably consistent across the various characteristics measured.

“It seems likely that popular pressure for movement towards a less prescriptive regime for the provision of pension savings will continue.”

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