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ABI says sales of life and pensions up 25%

Sales of new life and pension products rose by almost 25 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared with the first quarter, according to latest figures from the ABI.

The ABI says A-Day has helped to drive record sales of 3.9bn in the second quarter, up by 24.5 per cent on the previous quarter and 31 per cent on Q2 2005.

The figures show partic- ularly strong growth in individual pension sales, with single-premium individual pension new business in Q2 hitting 4.254bn, up by 61.6 per cent on Q2 2005.

Regular-premium individual pension new business in Q2 hit 953m, up by 67.2 per cent on Q2 2005.

The latest figures follow a round of buoyant new sales figures in the life sector, with Aegon recording a 55 per cent rise in new life and pension business in the first half against the same period last year and Norwich Union seeing 43 per cent growth.

But Cazalet Consulting principal Ned Cazalet says the figures are”absolutely meaningless” and says the majority is just recycled business.

Facts & Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster says: “A-Day was useful for people that already had pensions but recycling old money does not close the savings gap. The ABI is saying the garden is rosy but they are shouting about the wrong thing.”

But an ABI spokesman says: “Ned Cazalet has made his views well known. We freely acknowledge there is a certain amount of transfer business in these figures but a lot of it is genuinely new business. Cazalet should also not discount transfer business, as it shows the market is working well.”

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