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Just Retirement posts £30m loss post-pension freedoms

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Just Retirement has moved from profit into loss for the year to the end of June, its first full financial year of accounts since pension freedoms was announced.

The firm recorded a pre-tax loss of £29.6m, a dramatic swing from 2013/14 profits of £92.8m.

The result was driven by plummeting annuity sales, which fell by 56 per cent from £1.1bn to £478m.

Retirement income sales overall also fell 9 per cent to £1.1bn, down from the £1.2bn seen in 2014, with capped drawdown sales slumping 34 per cent from £73.7m to £48.7m.

Total retirement sales fell 10 per cent from £1.3bn to £1.1bn, while total new business sales were down 17 per cent from £1.7bn to £1.4bn.

But Just Retirement also saw a spike in sales of defined benefit derisking solutions, where sales climbed more than five-fold from £92.1m to £608.9m.

As a result Just Retirement has increased its sales estimate for DB derisking from £300m to £400m for the first half of the 2015/16 year.

The provider also says it is seeing increased enquiries for individual annuities, with Q1 annuity sales now expected to rise by 25 per cent on the previous quarter.

It expects the merger with Partnership, announced last month, to generate £40m of cost synergies.

Just Retirement group chief executive Rodney Cook says: “This is our first full-year of results since the Budget 2014 pension reforms, and I hope our resilient performance will not be forgotten amid the excitement of the proposed merger with Partnership Assurance Group.

“Our response to the pension reforms has largely enabled us to replace lost individual guaranteed income for life business with DB derisking premiums.”

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