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Legal & General opens non-advised direct annuity service

Legal & General has set up a direct annuity service, primarily for people nearing retirement with small pension pots and those who feel confident to shop around themselves.

The non-advised service, called Annuity Solutions, allows customers with a pension fund of £5,000 or more to buy a conventional annuity over the phone, by email or by post.

It will also offer postcode annuities and plans to move into the enhanced annuity market later in the year.

The company says it has introduced the service in response to demand from consumers who are increasingly aware of the open market option and have conducted their own research on how to draw from their pension. It has been piloting the service for the past year.

The firm says it will continue to recommend consumers to seek financial advice when arranging their annuity but it says that many people with smaller pension funds struggle to get advice.

Head of annuity product development Tim Gosden says: “Annuity Solutions offers consumers another choice for securing their pension income at retirement. The research and experience that we gained from the pilot confirmed that there is growing awareness of the open market option and that some customers are confident enough to shop around themselves.

“We believe it is important that customers have the abil- ity to arrange their annuity directly with us, if that is what they want to do, but we continue to support the need for consumers to seek independent financial advice.”

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