Guest Blog: Brian Please – Nothing takes away from the need for guaranteed levels of income in retirement!

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Equiniti has just published its sixth Annual Retirement Survey with input from colleagues and professionals throughout the pensions and annuity industry. This has evidenced change and trends to the issues across advice, guidance, products, pricing, scams and legislation relating not only to annuities but all things to do with retirement.

The debates to the response of the Government’s Pension Reforms by the industry will rage on for many years. The increased profile is clearly raising the consciousness in individuals as to the value of their pension savings and the options open to them. Whilst choice and flexibility are good, being rational when balancing long-term needs with short-term opportunity is never easy for any of us!

I recall the lively debate at ILC’s own sessions in January 2014 as to “Are Annuities fit for Purpose”. Although there were many perspectives voiced, the underlying theme then is the same as that reinforced in the latest survey. One way or another, we all aspire as individuals to evolve from income from earnings in our working life to the certainty of a level of guaranteed income in retirement.

We can all envy those pensioners with adequate pensions and annuities in payment.  Equiniti continuously pays 2.5 million pensioners and annuitants. I would hope that the negative publicity given to annuities does not diminish the perceived value for those that have.

For those facing retirement, an annuity for some, despite its poor press, remains absolutely fit for purpose just as much as the pension income derived from occupational defined benefit pensions schemes. For others I just hope the process and cost of purchasing income related products can be simplified placing the control in the hands of the individual.

Brian Please
Life & Pensions Consultant

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