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Skandia defends drawdown deals

Most income-drawdown investors are no worse off than people who took out an annuity at the same time, despite stockmarket falls, according to Skandia.

The company says many investors have benefited from high levels of income while maintaining the level of their initial capital over three years and six years.

It is urging IFAs to check the relative performance of drawdown clients against those who have taken an annuity and not be put off drawdown by falling markets and low annuity rates.

But some IFAs argue that advisers should pay more attention to the servicing of drawdown clients and warn that failure to maintain portfolios properly is putting retirement funds at risk.

Skandia marketing manager Peter Jordan says: “There is an awful lot of negativity attributed to income drawdown based on supposition. But if you look at the other features that come with drawdown, such as death benefits, clients generally believe their returns are reasonably balanced.

“Many commentators are saying equities look good value and there is far less potential downside on annuity rates for drawdown clients than there was a few years ago, so the case for drawdown is as good as it ever has been.”

Intelligent Pensions director Steve Patterson says: “Income drawdown is not a product that you sell and walk away from. There is a big back-end issue of clients not getting yearly strategy reviews and three-monthly asset monitoring.”

Chartwell pensions adviser Gemma Bryer says: “You have to consider the death benefits and flexibility of income and not just the performance. You can always use cash and gilt funds in drawdown.”

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