The Financial Conduct Authority has requested pricing information from insurance companies as part of its investigation into the annuity market.
The regulator launched a thematic review of annuities in January this year in response to concerns people are failing to shop around when they reach retirement.
The FCA has now written to pension providers requesting information on annuity pricing.
An FCA spokesman says: “As part of our review into annuities, which explores whether any potential financial losses are suffered by not shopping around, we have asked providers to send us data relating to their existing pension customers, the annuity rates they offer, annuity sales volumes and data on profitability of new annuity business.
“This will help us to build a comprehensive picture of the market and help us meet the objectives of the review.”
The FCA’s review is being conducted in two phases. The first phase involves analysing the level of detriment consumers suffer as a result of not shopping around, and whether there are firms or particular groups of customers where this detriment is more likely to occur.
The second phase of the review will consider whether firms’ processes for providing annuities facilitate or inhibit shopping around.