Merchant bank calls for annuities guidance

Published: 8 Apr 2015 09:30

Special Report: The Budget - Comment & Analysis

CHANCELLOR George Osborne has started firing the gun on the resale of annuities before businesses have seen the impact of last year’s reforms.

That’s according to UK merchant banking group Close Brothers Asset Management, which says it’s important there’s sufficient guidance going forward.

Head of wealth management Andy Cumming said: “Increased financial freedom at retirement has been a crucial step forward in the last year, but the Chancellor has fired the starting gun on the resale of annuities before we have seen the impact of last year’s reforms. It is a natural progression from the last Budget’s changes, and for thousands of annuitants, the move will be beneficial. However, it will be vitally important that there will be sufficient guidance for those looking to sell – especially if their current annuity is still the best option, providing value for money and supporting retirement goals. Equally, the cost and risk involved in selling an annuity must be made crystal clear to retirees. With questions still unanswered over how Pension Wise will operate and match the predicted demand for April’s freedoms, let alone further changes, much more clarity on the support and protection consumers will receive is necessary.”

Close Asset Management specialises in lending, deposit making, wealth management services, and securities trading and has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as south of the border.

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