The Association of British Insurers has tabled proposals which will force all annuity providers to publish information on the rates they offer to customers.
The trade association has today set out plans to conduct a regular rate survey of members as part of its shopping around code of conduct, due to be launched in March next year.
The survey will set a number of hypothetical customer profiles and ask what income each of these would receive from an annuity.
The results of the survey will be published on the ABI website every two months.
The ABI says: “The requirement to respond to the survey will be part of the ABI’s compulsory code of conduct. It will apply to all ABI members providing annuities and/or pensions, regardless of whether they are currently competing for annuity business or not.”
The ABI says it stopped short of proposing that all customers can see the actual rates they would get from their pension provider and others in the market because of the costs involved.
ABI director of life, savings and protection Stephen Gay (pictured) says: “For the first time we will be publishing rates of companies who only offer rates to existing customers as well as companies competing on the open market.
“Buying an annuity is one of the most important financial decisions people make and shopping around for the right one can make a significant difference to people’s retirement income.
“Making the market more transparent is a further step in helping people with this decision. We want to get this right so are launching a consultation on our plans and welcome feedback from a wide range of stakeholders and insurance companies.”