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Adviser attacks Abbey Life in Omo row

An IFA has hit out at Abbey Life for automatically vesting his client into its own annuity without the client’s consent.

Bates IFA John Miller says the client has major health problems and approached him after receiving literature urging him to take out an annuity with the closed-book provider before retirement. While waiting for Abbey Life to accept his client’s letter of authority, Miller says it became apparent it had vested the plan already but not paid out as the client had not signed any paperwork.

Miller says the plan was vested on the worst possible terms, with no tax-free cash, no widow’s option and the pension paid annually in arrears.

Director John Miller says: “Is it not about time the FSA made the Omo the default option? The client was so confused with all the bits of paper. He was eligible for an enhanced annuity and would have got a far bigger payout elsewhere.”

Abbey Life chief operating officer Neil Tointon says: “Many policy terms and conditions make it clear that the policy will be converted to an annuity at normal retirement date if we do not hear from the policyholder to the contrary.”

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