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ABI Insurers working hard to improve customer experience of annuities

New economic research into the annuities market, published today by the ABI, shows that 85% of single life level annuity customers receive a rate that is at least 95% of the highest rate available. The research shows the market delivers good rates for most customers - including many of those who do not change provider.

Looking ahead, more is being done to encourage consumers to check whether they can get a better deal on the open market, and to improve the overall customer experience of buying an annuity. Significant steps are being taken to encourage consumers to look around the market, including through improving the information provided to consumers at retirement. And the industry is working hard to reduce the time it takes for annuity payments to begin.

Rebecca Driver, the ABI's Director of Research and Chief Economist, said:

"Our research shows that many consumers get an annuity at a rate that is close to the highest rate available. There also appears to have been some improvement in outcomes. In 2002, FSA research found that almost 80% of joint life annuitants received a rate of between 85% and 95% of the highest rate available in the market. Ours shows that almost 80% of joint life annuities are sold at a rate above 95% of the highest rate.

"Annuities provide security and peace of mind for millions of customers. The variety of annuity products available, and continuing innovation by providers, is good for consumers. Now we are doing more to improve the service that consumers receive from the industry. Our goal is to ensure that they are better informed of the range of options they have and the key issues to consider when choosing an annuity. There also needs to be a wider debate on retirement income, in which the ABI will play a full part."

Last updated 01/07/2016