NOW: PENSIONS LEADS THE WAY WITH WHOLE OF MARKET ANNUITY ADVICE
NOW: Pensions, the workplace pensions provider, has today announced that it is partnering with leading retirement income specialist Annuity Direct to ensure its members always get the best possible rate when they come to purchase their retirement income.
Chartered Financial Planners Annuity Direct specialise in searching the whole of the annuity market to source the best possible deal for an individual’s circumstances.
Data from Annuity Direct shows that those who shop around for their annuity typically get an uplift which can be as much as 40 per cent or even higher in some cases to their retirement income, yet only 30 to 40 per cent do so.
Six months before retirement, NOW: Pensions members will be sent a pre-retirement information pack to help them understand their options and guide them through the decision-making process. The pack will provide an introduction to annuities, outline the decisions that need to be taken, including consolidating small pots, and provide an annuity options form.
Once the options form has been completed by the member, Annuity Direct will then search the whole of the market and provide the best available rates. Members will also be asked questions about their health and if appropriate receive quotations for an enhanced annuity based on their lifestyle or medical history or an impaired life annuity if they have a particular health problem which can significantly boost their retirement income.
Members can then choose to fulfil the process online or receive additional support from Annuity Direct’s experts via a telephone helpline. Alternatively, if their situation is more complex, they can opt for full regulated advice.
Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “Buying an annuity is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Auto-enrolment means that in the future, millions more people will need to make this decision which, once made, is irrevocable.
“I firmly believe that pension providers have a responsibility to offer members access to the best options from the whole marketplace when they reach retirement to make sure that their pension pot stretches as far as possible.
“Too often pensioners end up with an annuity that doesn’t reflect their individual circumstances or needs, and doesn’t give them the best value. By partnering with Annuity Direct, we are confident that NOW: Pension members will get the best possible retirement income.”
Alan Higham, Chief Executive, Annuity Direct said: “The Pensions Regulator has issued draft guidance that clearly shows it expects trustees to support members through their decision making process at retirement and monitor the outcomes achieved. NOW: Pensions has brought fresh thinking and innovation to the UK pensions market and we are delighted to be working with them to implement a solution that goes above and beyond the new demanding standards proposed by the Regulator.”
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For further information:
Tel: +44 203 640 9075
Tel: +44 207 294 3615
Notes for editors:
NOW: Pensions www.nowpensions.com
NOW: Pensions is a multi-employer trust. The investments are managed by NOW: Pensions Investments, a subsidiary of ATP in Denmark, and the administration is carried out by Paymaster, an established UK third party administrator.
The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:
- Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister
- Imelda Walsh, former Group HR Director of Sainsbury’s
- John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
- Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
- Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
NOW: Pensions is committed to developing a better workplace pension provision in the UK by offering a simple, high quality, cost efficient and systematically risk managed pension product that delivers better retirement savings for UK employees. With over 45 years’ experience providing Denmark’s working population with stable and consistent pensions returns, NOW: Pensions is set to transfer the knowledge acquired in Denmark to the UK pension market. Charges are just £1.50 per month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.
In April 2013, NOW: Pensions became the first master trust to attain the NAPF’s new PQM Ready Standard. The benchmark shows employers that NOW: Pensions is a well governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.
The ATP Group www.atp.dk
Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension (ATP) / Danish Labour Market Supplementary Pension is a statutory pension fund. It was established as an independent entity in 1964 with the objective of ensuring a greater retirement income for the Danish population. ATP has since developed to become the largest pension fund in Denmark. Together with the tax-financed basic state pension, ATP provides basic income security in old age for the Danish population.
ATP covers almost the entire Danish population representing 4.7 million members and 160,000 employers. In addition to the ATP Scheme, the ATP Group administers a number of pension and social insurance schemes, including several for the Danish state.
The ATP Group total assets under management amounted to DKK 624 billion/approximately GBP 68.4bn (i.e. assets: DKK 540 billion/GBP 62.3 billion + reserves: DKK 84 billion/GBP 9.2bn) at 31 December 2012. ATP invests in a wide variety of assets globally. Investment categories are broadly: equities, interest rates, credit, inflation and commodities.