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Heath Lambert restricts sub-£50k annuity choice to two companies

Heath Lambert has been criticised for refusing to search the open market for annuity clients with pension pots worth £50,000 or less.

The employee benefits consultancy only gives clients with pension pots of £50,000 or less quotes from Legal & General or Just Retirement, even though the Pensions Policy Institute says the average pot for buying an annuity is around £25,000.

For clients with more than £50,000 after tax-free cash has been taken, Heath Lambert says it offers whole of market annuity quotes.

On its website, Heath Lambert states: “In order to provide annuities for fund values under £50,000, after researching the market, HLC has elected to enter into agreements with two leading providers, Legal & General for standard term annuities and Just Retirement for enhanced annuities.

“Quotations provided for this level of fund value will automatically be from either of these providers depending on health.”

Hargreaves Lansdown pensions analyst Nigel Callaghan says the firm’s policy fails the majority of investors, who have pension funds smaller than £50,000.

He says: “Setting the minimum threshold at twice the average annuity fund size will point many consumers to just one provider. I question how this can best serve the principle of maximising a retiring investor’s income.”

Heath Lambert declined to comment.

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