Drawdown boost pushes LV= sales up 20%


Growing demand for drawdown has helped push LV=’s life and pension sales up 20 per cent in the first six months of the year.

Sales of retirement products, including drawdown, annuities and flexible bonds, are up 15 per cent from £625m to £720m, the firm’s six-month trading statement shows.

Sales of flexible bonds, an investment-linked bond made available through LV=’s Sipp and personal pension last July, grew 136 per cent from £59m to £139m.

Protection sales are also up by 50 per cent from £96m to £144m.

These increases more than offset falls in annuity sales, down from £232m to £146m, and equity release, which dropped from £57m to £33m year-on-year.

Enhanced annuity sales account for £55m, down from £137m in the first six months of 2014, while fixed-term annuity sales grew to £91m from £77m.

A one year fixed-term annuity launched by LV= following the 2014 Budget is now unavailable to customers.

Overall, sales within the mutual’s life and pension division grew 20 per cent year-on-year, from £721m in 2014 to £864m in 2015.

LV= life and pensions managing director Richard Rowney says: “We have invested in our retirement business to further enhance our proposition and provide additional support, training and tools to advisers, in order to help them prepare and make the most of the pension changes.

“We believe more pension savers are blending solutions in order to achieve the level of income and flexibility they require and we have innovated in this area.”

He adds: “In order to make it even easier for advisers to do business with us, we recently upgraded our adviser website. The new technology makes it easier for advisers to navigate it on their smartphones and they and their clients can now use the new site to book tele-interviews for themselves.

“This will further speed up the protection underwriting process meaning that clients can get access to valuable financial protection quicker.”