MetLife is launching a fixed-term annuity to replace the Living Time product it has been distributing but Living Time insists the move does not signal the end of its brand.
The freedom income plan will offer clients the chance to transfer to another retirement product if they qualify for an enhanced rate. In an interview with this week’s Money Marketing, MetLife UK chief executive Dominic Grinstead (pictured) explains the rationale behind the move.
The product is similar to Just Retirement’s fixed-term annuity product which launched in June and also allows investors to switch to an enhanced annuity.
Minimum investment in the freedom income plan is £20,000 and a guaranteed maturity amount is set at the outset of the plan. A range of death benefit options is also available.
Grinstead says there is a growing trend for people to delay the decision to take a lifetime annuity in the volatile market. He says: “Our own research suggests this is a market that will grow significantly to be a billion-pound market in 2013.”
In January, Money Marketing revealed that MetLife had signed a deal to exclusively distribute Living Time’s fixed-rate annuity product. Living Time chief executive Kim Lerche-Thomsen says the firm will now focus its attention on pushing the Offer More Options initiative, through the Pensions Income Choice Association, and is looking to develop new products in partnership with MetLife or separately.
Affluent Financial Planning managing director Carl Melvin says: “The product sounds innovative but we need to inspect the details.”