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Aviva launches flexible drawdown offering

Aviva has launched a flexible drawdown proposition almost three years after a radical Government overhaul of pension rules.

In April 2011 the Treasury introduced a new flexible drawdown option which allows people with secure pension income of £20,000 or more to withdraw those savings in their entirety.

Major providers have been slow to react to the reform, with only LV=, Scottish Life, Skandia and Standard Life developing a flexible drawdown proposition.

Aviva has now confirmed it will also offer flexible drawdown to investors with pension pots worth more than £50,000.

The provider will levy an annual charge of £100 per post-retirement account.

Investors will be charged an extra £200 if their pre-and post-retirement accounts fall below £10,000 as the result of a single withdrawal during the first 12 months of flexible drawdown starting.

Aviva managing director of at-retirement Clive Bolton says: “Aviva has remodelled its income drawdown solution to ensure customers have greater choice and more flexibility in how they take their retirement income.

“It is essential that our industry continues to develop competitive and good value retirement income products, such as flexible and capped drawdown.

“For those willing to accept some investment risk, income drawdown can offer tax-efficient options, and a level of flexibility that enables them to adjust their payments when they need to.

“We are likely to see customers increasingly turning to advisers for help in making these critical decisions around how to maximise their retirement income over the remainder of their lives.”

Chase de Vere head of communications Patrick Connolly says: “Pension savers are increasingly demanding greater flexibility and this looks like a direct response to that.

“I would expect most major insurers to eventually offer flexible drawdown as an option to their customers.”

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