Intelligent Pensions has attacked Aegon’s new direct-to-consumer annuity service.
Money Marketing revealed in July the firm was to set up the new company, Aegon UK Direct positioned alongside the whole-of-market advice service currently provided direct to Daily and Sunday Telegraph readers by Origen. Customers who want a wider range of retirement options will be referred to Origen.
The new service is being offered direct in the Telegraph, but Intelligent Pensions warns it is no substitute for the open market option.
Aegon offers standard annuities and third-way products via IFAs only.
Aegon Direct will provide conventional annuities from Aegon Scottish Equitable and enhanced annuities from MGM Advantage direct to consumers.
Aegon will extend the Aegon Direct service to other affinity partners over the next few months. It will also consider broadening the service to inc- ude other product areas, such as investment and protection.
Director of partnership and distribution development Peter Dornan says: “Advice can ensure people buy the right product to suit their lifestyle and in many cases increase the income they can get from their pension pot. But not everyone has complicated retirement needs or wants or will find it necessary to use an IFA.”
“For a simple annuity purchase, traditional face-to-face advice can be uneconomical for IFAs to provide. We believe that this service could bring valuable advice within the reach of more people.”
But Intelligent Pensions technical director David Trenner says:”Aegon believes the new service will appeal to people who think that they have straight-forward retirement planning requirements, because they do not understand some of the issues. And why be “near the top of the market” when a proper Omo service can help you to be at the top of the market even when Aegon are not?”