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Birth pains as Widows demands originals

A move by Scottish Widows to accept only originals of customer birth certificates is causing serious delay to people buying an annuity.

The decision followed a memo from the ABI reminding the industry of its obligations under Government regulations restricting the use of copies of birth certificates.

The IFAs say customers with pension plans with several providers could be delayed in setting up an annuity for months.

Surrey IFA Wentworth Rose managing director Philip Rose is frustrated by the delay. He says: “The industry has to follow Government regulations but it should not be more restrictive than abso lutely necessary. Annuity tran sfer is going to get almost impossible.”

IFA Pensions & Investment Management principal Phil Moore says: “There could be a serious delay from the time the birth certificate is sent to the first life office and the time it is received back from the last. These are multi-billion-pound industries but that does not mean they are run efficiently.”

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