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IFAs hit new high with life and pension share

IFAs&#39 share of life and pension business is hitting record levels as sales continue to grow despite volatile markets.

Latest figures from the ABI for the second quarter of this year show IFAs accounted for 55.5 per cent of individual life business, the highest-ever level, up from 52.8 per cent in the same period last year.

IFAs are the dominant distribution channel for life, pension, annuity, income drawdown and protection business, with 60 per cent of individual sales and 81 per cent of group business.

On the individual pension front, IFAs accounted for 77.4 per cent of sales compared with 76.5 per cent in quarter two last year.

IFAs sold 71 per cent of annuities and drawdown and 81 per cent of group business, including group pensions, critical-illness cover and income protection, showing big rises from 75.2 per cent and 68.6 per cent respectively last year.

Stakeholder pension sales through ABI members have reached 956,000 individual policies since their launch in April 2001 and an ABI spokeswoman estimates the market now totals one million policies.

Business levels have remained consistent despite the turbulence in the markets, says the ABI.

There was a significant increase in level term policies sold over the last six months with a rise to 576,000 from the first half of 407,000 last year, – an increase of 47.5 per cent.

ABI director general Mary Francis says: “We are pleased to see a continued increase in the sales of life and pension policies. There is still much work to do, however, to encourage greater levels of saving. The savings gap is big and will only get bigger if we do not take immediate steps to close it.”

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