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Insurance industry initiative will improve annuity transfer times

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) has today announced details of its work with the UK's leading annuity providers to speed up the time it takes for Open Market Option payments to be made to pensioners.

15 providers, representing over 90% of the annuities industry, are involved in the initiative, which involves the creation of an electronic information exchange developed by Origo, the financial services e-commerce standards body. The objective of the service is to reduce the time taken to set up an annuity when changing providers and will become the industry benchmark.

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

"This initiative marks a step change in the industry's work to improve customer service around the Open Market Option. The ABI and the annuity providers involved are determined to make the annuity set-up process work better, and this service will reduce the time taken to transfer between providers.

"The ABI has already published new template wording for ‘wake up' letters sent to people who are approaching retirement. This will help make the options customers have at retirement clear and easy to understand. The Open Market Option is prominently featured and explained, alongside all the different types of annuities that are available.

"Together, these initiatives support the work providers are doing to improve set-up times and ensure that people have the information they need to make an informed decision at retirement."

Last updated 01/07/2016