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Improved consumer information highlights benefits of shopping around for retirement income

The ABI has launched the latest phase in its campaign to improve the customer experience of securing a retirement income by publishing new guidance for ‘wake-up' packs sent out by pension providers in the run-up to retirement.

The new guidance will make the information sent to customers much clearer. It also highlights the potential benefit of shopping around, and the important fact that customers may increase their retirement income by doing so.

Under the new guidance, customers will receive a clear, brief summary of the Open Market Option, the different types of annuity available and other key issues and options they should consider as they approach retirement. The guidance has been developed in close consultation with pension providers, consumer groups, the Government and the Financial Services Authority.

Maggie Craig, the ABI's Director of Life and Savings, said:

"We are determined to improve the experience of customers approaching retirement. This means ensuring they understand their options, including their right to shop around, so they can make an informed decision and letting them know where to go to get help. Buying an annuity is a once in a lifetime decision that can't be changed, so it's vital that customers are given appropriate help to make the right choices, and make the most of their retirement income.

"The next step of our project is to improve the time it takes for annuity payments to be made. An industry initiative to find new ways of speeding up payments already has the majority of providers on board. Further details of this will be announced later in the summer."

Last updated 01/07/2016