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Business surge sees L&G struggle to process annuities

Legal & General has admitted suffering delays in processing annuity business, blaming an increase in volume since A-Day.

The firm says it has struggled to process a surge in volume of requests in the second half of this year but says the problem is industrywide.

Head of new product development Tim Gosden says people waited to purchase annuities until after A-Day and many have made complicated requests. He says the firm is also waiting for clarification on certain legislation, although he refused to go into specifics.

IFA Richard Jacobs Pension & Trustees director Richard Jacobs says he was warned of “severe” delays by L&G.

On November 17, L&G confirmed in writing that it had all it needed to process the annuity payment. But on December 4, the IFA was told the case will not be settled until January 10, 2007.

Jacobs says: “It is crazy that L&G is offering the best annuity rates if they cannot back it up with service. The company offering the best rates will inevitably get the lion’s share of the business.”

Gosden says: “We are not alone. Everyone is experiencing these problems. We are doing everything we can and making improvements to our systems.”

A Prudential spokesman says: “We have seen an uplift in volume since A-Day but we have managed demand and have not had problems with delays.”

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