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Niche annuity bid by GE Life

Specialist annuity provider GE Life has gone on the offensive in the fiercely contested niche annuity market by extending its range of impaired-life annuities.

GE Life, formerly Stalwart Assurance, is aiming to win a greater market share after previously only offering impaired-life annuities to smokers.

The move will come as a double blow to rival Evergreen, which was among a number of product providers dropped this week from The Exchange&#39s new browser-based comparative rates service.

The service, which operates as a separate portal from The Exchange&#39s main site, restricts its quotations to ordinary annuity products. But Evergreen claims enhanced annuities and with-profits annuities represent up to 40 per cent of the market.

Chief executive Mike Fuller says: “A significant proportion of the market cannot get quotations.”

The Exchange product manager Martin Williams says: “We currently have no plans to change the service but are evaluating whether there is sufficient demand to make changes.”

Evergreen, along with The Pension Annuity Friendly Society, will have its position in the market challenged further as GE Life makes its new range of products available this week.

Marketing manager Cathy Horsely says: “Up to now, there have only been one or two players in the market. We feel we are in a strong position.”

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