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Just Retirement annuity sales plunge 59%

Individual annuity sales at Just Retirement have plunged 59 per cent in the three months to September compared to the same period last year.

In an interim management statement, published today, the provider laid bare the impact of the Budget reforms to pensions on its business model.

In the three months to September 2013 the insurer sold £313.3m of individually underwritten annuities but it dropped to just £129.3m this year.

Fixed-term annuity sales remained steady at around £20m over three months while sales of defined benefit solutions grew significantly from just £3.2m last year to £24.8m this year.

As well as a huge drop in annuity sales, the firm saw equity release sales fall by nearly a quarter year-on-year. Lifetime mortgage sales fell from £105.1m last September to £80.3m this year.

In total business sales fell 42 per cent from £442m to £255.1m.

In its annual accounts published last month, Just Retirement said it was cutting 90 jobs in the wake of Budget reforms due to a fall in business sales.

Just Retirement chief executive officer Rodney Cook says: “We believe these figures compare favourably with realistic expectations in the post-Budget world.

“Our success in the DB market also demonstrates that Just Retirement retains the entrepreneurial spirit of a company currently celebrating only its 10th anniversary. This gives me confidence that our new generation of post-Budget retirement income products will contribute to revenue momentum in 2015.

“Our medical underwriting skills will be more relevant than ever to those financial advisers with a duty to ensure that their customers do not outlive their savings.”

Last month, Partnership reported a 70 per cent drop in annuity sales from £300m in the third quarter of last year to just £89m this year.

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