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Aviva presses for Omo to become the default

Aviva is preparing to step up the pressure on the Government to make shopping around for an annuity at retirement the default option for investors.

In its Rethinking Retirement report, published in June, the company called for a series of reforms designed to increase the number of people who shop around at retirement but the report stopped short of calling for legislative changes.

Speaking to Money Marketing last week, Aviva UK Life chief executive David Barral said: “Customers are losing millions by not shopping around for an annuity.

The number of people who are shopping around is increasing but we do not think it is anywhere near where it needs to be. I am seeing Mark Hoban in the next two or three weeks to discuss this issue specifically.

“We are going to push for the open market option to be the default for investors. I would rather have seen the industry sort this out but it has not.”

The Association of British Insurers has resisted calls to support making the Omo the default, instead preferring to focus on improving the information provided by insurers to customers. It launched a best practice guide for providers in January.

The Department for Work and Pensions-led Omo stakeholder group, appointed by the Treasury, is currently assessing the practical steps required to make the Omo the default option at retirement and will report back to the Treasury later this year.

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