Drawdown pulls further away from annuities as non-advised sales grow

Exploding-Piggy-Bank-700.jpgIncome drawdown sales look set to outstrip last year by more than 10 per cent.

In the first half of 2017, 83,600 income drawdown policies were sold, according to FCA data released today, compared to 149,000 for the whole of 2016.

Sipp sales are also on track to come in far ahead of last year. Nearly 470,000 were recorded in the first half of this year, compared to just under 800,000 across 2016.

Annuity sales did tick up in the second quarter of 2017, from 13,422 to 13,875, but are still significantly below their level before the pension freedoms were. At the beginning of 2014 for example, quarterly sales were around 30,000.

Drawdown sales grew by nearly 5 per cent between the first quarter of 2017 and the second.

AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “The continued pick up in popularity of drawdown is testament to the enduring popularity of the pension freedoms. Clearly annuities have suffered in comparison and insurers will no doubt be praying for a change in the economic weather to boost gilt yields and guaranteed income rates.

“For many an annuity will remain the most appropriate option so it’s vital for savers this market doesn’t crumble in the face of these pressures.”

Non-advised sales of personal pensions are also on the increase. These are projected to run around 16 per cent higher this year. Nearly 700,000 non-asdvised sales have been made in the first half of 2017, compared with the 1.2m last year.

What to expect from the FCA’s non-advised drawdown review

For decumulation products as a whole, however, it is still twice as popular to receive advice on a sale as to go the non-advised route.

The FCA recently announced it would review the non-advised drawdown market for potential risks to consumers.

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