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ABI to target housing wealth and annuities in ‘wide-ranging’ retirement review

The Association of British Insurers says “radical reform” is needed to tackle a “chronic under saving culture” in the UK.

The Association of British Insurers plans to focus on housing wealth and annuities alternatives as part of a “wide ranging” review of the UK retirement system.

The ABI says the review will aim to tackle a “chronic under saving culture” in the UK and will focus on people’s financial needs in retirement and their retirement concerns, how effectively state and retirement income products cater for retirement needs and what changes are needed to ensure adequate retirement incomes.

The ABI is seeking views and evidence from savers, pension experts, think tanks, consumer groups, health organisations, politicians and trade unions.

ABI head of savings, retirement and social care Yvonne Braun says: “The existing UK retirement model needs a bit of a re-think because it is based on a view of the world which is not particularly relevant anymore.

“We need to look again at retirement financial products and the guidance and advice people receive.

“The review will look at the whole landscape, including the role of housing equity. In terms of annuities, they are only one part of the picture and we need to look at wider retirement income solutions.”

Evolve Financial Planning financial planner Steven Williams says: “The whole industry should be focusing on educating people about the impact of rising longevity rather than tweaking the existing pension system.

“New products are great but if you only have £20,000 in your pot then there is only so much you can do.”

The consultation will close on 20 December. The ABI will then hold a series of stakeholder workshops in early 2014, with the final proposals due to be published in spring 2014.

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