View more on these topics

Time to take up Options

Following a recent meeting between leading retirement advisers, the ABI, Origo and provider representatives, we are writing to record our continuing support and growing enthusiasm for the Options’ initiative. The performance delivered by Options’ participants demonstrates a real achievement, which has started to directly benefit customers using the Omo.

The eight-day transfer time average achieved in Q1 by the participating providers contrasts starkly with our experience of some pension companies. It can still take many weeks and in some cases months for providers who are not yet participating in Options to arrange the transfer of funds to enable annuity policies to be established. As a result, customers may lose out because their annuity rates fall during this time and, consequently, they end up with a reduced income.

We are particularly concerned that some companies with significant pension books have not yet signed up, and we encourage them to do so as soon as possible. As the FSA noted in its recent sector newsletter, “we are encouraged by the number of firms who have joined the initiative but note that there are still some firms that have yet to participate. We urge all provider firms active in the personal pension market to join in this process and adopt the new improved transfer procedures.”

As professional advisers specialising in arranging open market annuity policies, we strongly support the Options project. The companies involved have delivered their commitment to customer service as shown by the improvements achieved in Q1.

We strongly urge those who have not yet signed up to engage with other providers and Origo as soon as possible, and ensure their customers are not disadvantaged by their provider’s non-engagement.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Bayliss, Annuity Direct
Billy Burrows, William Burrows Annuity Associates
Jacqueline Conroy, Capita
Steve Hunt, Rockingham Retirement
Sean McCabe, Chartwell
Michael Slevin, Kerr Henderson
Malcolm Thomas, The Annuity Portal
Michael Thraves, Alexander Forbes
Robert Tinsley, Origen


Pension poll position

The YouGov/Money Marketing monthly IFA survey shows almost a 50/50 split regarding the issue of whether the Government’s Budget decision to cut pension tax relief for people earning over £150,000 will significantly damage long-term savings.

Tax avoidance (the fight goes on)

In recent times, we have witnessed high-profile celebrities and sports stars make the headlines for potential tax liabilities on ‘failed’ tax avoidance schemes. We are now used to reading about these individuals, but what about those who advise on such schemes? Read more


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment