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MetLife to overhaul pension drawdown product

MetLife has admitted it needs to overhaul its pension drawdown product as its systems are struggling to deal with requests for phased retirement.

Product marketing director Peter Carter says the firm’s guaranteed drawdown product, the MetLife Retirement Portfolio, lacks the sophistication to produce accurate post-sales illustrations for clients who want to leave some of their funds invested.

He says improvements will be made so the product can cope with requests for phased retirement.

Carter says: “When we came into the market with the guaranteed drawdown product, we thought people would come into it before retirement, take their tax-free cash and then take their guaranteed income.

“We do not have a particularly elegant solution for postsales illustrations for phased retirement at the moment. They meet regulatory standards but the systems we have to support the product lack the sophistication we would like.

“We are working on some enhancements to come in later this year which will allow us to do phased retirement as a single piece rather than the bits and pieces we have at the moment.”

Whichers IFA John Burrows says: “Providing this type of information is vitally important with drawdown business, due to the complexity of the product and the need to provide accurate and clear advice to clients.

“You have to ask why MetLife set up the product without having systems in place to accurately provide information to customers.”

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