Sales and marketing director Dave Harris says the Omo should be rebranded as “Offer More Options” so retirees are aware of the full range of products available to them.
Harris says: “The real Omo failing is that it has become synonymous in people’s minds with the right to shop around solely for a lifetime annuity rather than the right to shop around for the best retirement solution. In effect, Omo as it stands limits choice instead of promoting it.”
Industry statistics show only around a third of lifetime annuity buyers take their pension fund elsewhere and Harris says many do not realise there are other products available.
Halton Insurance Service director Mike Fry says: “Most firms’ documentation states what they offer and makes clients aware that they can go elsewhere but I think that the FSA should make insurers say in their blurb that the Omo does not necessarily mean that you have to take an annuity. There are other options, such as income withdrawal.”