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Firms to set up new retirement lobby group

MGM Advantage, Living Time, Partnership Assurance, LV=, Canada Life and Hargreaves Lansdown are understood to have formed an industry group to promote a greater range of retirement planning options.

This week’s Money Marketing reveals that the group, which is so far unnamed, is developing a manifesto for change that aims to ensure people nearing retirement understand the different options available to them and exercise their right to shop around for the best rate.

The founding firms are believed to make up the management board of the body, which is designed to complement the Association of British Insurers.

A wider group of providers, adviser firms and consumer groups such as Which? will be invited to join an advisory board in the coming weeks, which will contribute to the industry group’s work.

The lobby group is understood to be modelling itself on Safe Home Income Plans. Like Ship, its members will have to subscribe to certain standards in order to participate.

The body will be funded by its membership. Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail is believed to be acting chairman, with a permanent chairman to be announced in due course.

The industry group’s manifesto will go to the advisory board for consultation in August before the group begins lobbying to try to influence the major political parties policies.

A Just Retirement spokesman says: “Just Retirement is committed to improving the general awareness of the open market option, therefore we welcome any industry-led initiatives that tackle this situation. We look forward to hearing more about this group’s work.”

The Retirement Adviser head of retirement planning Nick Flynn says: “This sounds excellent. The more publicity and coverage the Omo gets, the better for both advisers and consumers.

“It would be good for them to widen the net in terms of providers because there are some significant players not included in this list but this is definitely a good start.”

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “This is a potentially useful campaign to raise awareness of the Omo.

“The ABI is the trade body for annuity providers and, through the Options initiative and our work to improve the clarity and quality of annuity wake-up packs, is already doing much to improve the customer experience of annuities and helping them get best value for their money.”

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