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Buck Consultants launches non-advised annuity shopping around service

Employee benefits firm Buck Consultants has launched a non-advised annuity shopping around service for people with pension pots worth more than £20,000.

The new service, called ‘Retirement Assured’, allows users to check the different rates offered by providers using an online calculator.

Anyone who wants to buy an annuity through the service will need to contact the firm’s telephone quotation service, where they will be taken through a series of medical questions to determine whether they qualify for an enhanced annuity and provided with guidance on their retirement options.

Retirement Assured will then source quotes from all UK annuity providers who are open to new business.

Anyone with a pension pot worth less than £20,000 will not receive the full non-advised shopping around service and will instead be offered a Legal & General annuity, with whom Retirement Assured has a single-tie arrangement.

The firm says it will receive between 1 per cent and 3 per cent in commission when someone buys an annuity through the service, which has been developed by Annuity Bureau founder Peter Quinton.

Quinton says: “Not only is there a growing trend towards researching and buying financial services products online, but, as a result of the retail distribution review, we’ve seen a squeeze on advice, particularly across banks.

“Consumers are, therefore, increasingly becoming self-directed – and not always by choice – in their personal finance matters. However, we believe a complete DIY solution for purchasing annuities is dangerous. 

“Whilst more than three quarters of pre-retirees say they have a basic or good understanding of different annuity types, in reality actual purchases of investment linked, escalating, enhanced and impaired life annuities remain low.

“This comparison site has been designed to help fill the “advice gap” left by RDR, providing those in the process of selecting an annuity with a simple way of sourcing the best quote for their individual circumstances with the added benefit of being able to speak to an annuity specialist.”

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