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Fsa annuity tables are failing the public

Product providers and advisers have slammed FSA comparative annuity tables, saying they are inaccurate and irrelevant to most consumers and must be updated.

Speaking at Money Marketing’s annuity round table, Norwich Union head of annuity propositions Darren Dicks said that the regulator’s tables are not clear and do not give customers a fair reflection of the annuity rates that they can get.

Dicks said: “Legal & General, Norwich Union and Prudential’s rates are not up there. There is just a phone number. The FSA says we have to publish our worst rates.

“So if a consumer goes on to the FSA table, they will see the worst rate and that is not informing customers properly.

Therefore, we have put our telephone number down instead.”
Prudential director of annuities Karin Brown said it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to go to the FSA website and pick out an annuity rate that is right for them because there is an increased use of variables such as postcode and health.

Brown said: “The tables are supposed to be about offering more money to people than you can afford to. Actually, this is making it harder for customers to get the right price for them.”

William Burrows Annuities director Billy Burrows says: “The easy answer is to have one website where you can put in your postcode data and other variables and it will come up with all the rates. We are moving to a position now where we cannot rely on the tables. Also, a lot of the rates are totally inaccurate. How can we go and tell the FSA its tables are a load of cobblers?”

Annuity Direct director Stuart Bayliss says: “The FSA does not understand what it is doing. Our tables are more accurate than the regulator’s.”

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