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ABI guide sets new standards for preretirement wakeup packs

The ABI has today published updated guidance to help pension providers deliver further improvements to the ‘wake-up' packs sent to pension customers as they approach their retirement date.

 

‘Wake-up' packs contain vital information for people with defined contribution pension policies, aimed at helping them decide how to take their benefits.  This includes key messages such as the right to shop around using the Open Market Option (OMO), and sets out in simple language the different types of annuity available.

 

The new guidance builds on the success of a 2008 ABI guide, and incorporates feedback from extensive customer testing of ‘wake-up' packs and their impact on consumers' understanding of the OMO and key retirement options.  The enhancements include:

 

·         Clear prompts for customers about the importance of reading the wake-up pack.

·         Greater emphasis on the importance and benefits of shopping around.

·         Clarity on the timeline for taking benefits, whether through the OMO or not.

·         Prominent promotion of the Pension Advisory Service's online financial planner.

·         Encouragement for providers to consider earlier customer communications, at an earlier stage than the usual four or six month wake-up pack.

·         New standards to improve OMO transfer processes.

 

Maggie Craig, the ABI's acting Director General, said:

"This new guidance shows the pensions industry's determination to improve customers' experiences when securing a retirement income, and provide information in a way people understand. The 2008 guidance led to major improvements in the quality of providers' pre-retirement communications and we expect this guidance to raise standards still higher.

 

"We have listened to the views of consumers, the industry and other pensions experts to identify how best to convey key information and encourage people to read these packs.  This new guidance will help ensure people get clear, valuable and understandable information at the point when they are making hugely important decisions about how to turn their pension savings into an income in retirement."

 

 

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Last updated 01/07/2016