Partnership has agreed a single-tie deal with Openwork which will see it become the sole provider of both standard and enhanced annuities to the network.
Partnership currently only offers enhanced annuities and will develop standard annuities for distribution through Openwork.
In March, Money Marketing revealed Openwork was piloting the service to establish whether clients with small pension pots could be better off with an enhanced annuity.
However, the final agreement is not limited to clients with small pension pots. The terms of the deal mean Partnership must offer a top five rate for both standard and enhanced annuity quotes.
Partnership director of product development and marketing Nigel Barlow (pictured) says while Partnership will only distribute standard annuities through Openwork initially, it will not rule out offering a wider service in the future.
Barlow says: “At the moment this deal is strictly between us and Openwork. There are no specific plans to go wider but that does not mean to say we would never do it.”
Some industry commentators have criticised single-tie annuity deals, claiming they go against the spirit of reforms designed to increase the number of people who shop around for a pension.
Openwork proposition and marketing director Philip Martin says: “People often think that if you tie to a single provider, the customer is going to get stiffed. We do not want that to happen, so it was important that the agreement pegs the rate Partnership offers for both conventional and enhanced annuities so they have to be in the top five in the whole of the market.”