Standard Life has reported a double digit increase in assets in its drawdown propositions as more customers look to cash in on inflated defined benefit pension transfer values.
In its results for the first half of 2017 released this morning, Standard Life reported that gross inflows into its UK retail arm were 63 per cent higher than in 2016, increasing from £4.1bn to £6.7bn.
“Strong demand” for the Standard Life Wrap and newly acquired Elevate platform was “boosted by individuals looking to take advantage of high DB transfer values available in the market moving to products providing the flexibility offered by drawdown and pensions freedoms.”
The firm added nearly £2bn in drawdown assets over the period, taking its total to £18.2bn, but also reported gross retail outflows of £3.3bn, up from £2.1bn in the first half of 2016, as customers made use of their drawdown facilities.
The advice arm
Standard Life did not provide a full breakdown of results at its advice arm, 1825.
It noted that 1825 now has 73 financial adviser, with over 8,600 clients and assets under advice were £3.4bn.
1825 and the acquisition of Elevate from Axa had contributed £26m to revenue, the firm says.
Standard Life pensions and savings chief executive Barry O’Dwyer says: “Our leading position in the UK pensions and savings market is a key contributor to Standard Life’s strong performance today. We have much to be proud of; our award-winning platforms have seen record inflows, we’ve enrolled 100,000 new workplace customers and our advice business continues to grow.
“Changes in the long-term savings market through auto-enrolment and pensions freedoms mean it’s never been more important for people to plan and save for their future – and we help people do that. As Standard Life moves into the next stage of our evolution towards becoming a world-class investment business, our pensions and savings business is a valuable differentiator.”