24th May 2011
Aviva's Rethinking Retirement Report
The day has got a Y in its name so it must be time for another insurance company sponsored pensions report.
Aviva's report – Rethinking Retirement in the UK (embargoed until tomorrow, I think) has a couple of good ideas in it and Aviva is one of the better companies amongst the old guard of ABI members when it comes to looking after consumers (against some pretty dreadful competition). Aviva's Clive Bolton is one of the good guys.
The key recommendation which Aviva makes which I do wholeheartedly support is the proposal previously championed by Which? that all life insurance companies should be required to publish their annuity rates. This would ensure that those companies which like to operate below the radar, selling uncompetitive annuities to customers who know no better are exposed to consumer scrutiny and competitive pressures.
Aviva also proposes that all pension providers should research their members/policy holders to then offer them suitable enhanced terms where appropriate. I don't think this is workable and instead I think that investors would be better served by the development of the Pensions Passport proposition developed by the Pensions Income Choice Association (of which I am the Chairman) and now being reviewed by the DWP.
Aviva is also right to highlight the importance of pre-retirement consolidation and the need for the pensions industry to make it easier and more attractive for investors to roll their pension pots into one place. This is something which policy makers are acutely conscious of and which the pensions industry should be doing more to encourage.