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12% drop in pension sales not a concern for Friends Life

17th November, 2014

Insurance giant, Friends Life, has said it is delighted with the 12% drop in pension sales during the first nine months of 2014 following the government's planned retirement savings rules overhaul earlier in the year.

The provider claims that the strong relationship they have with their customers and the number of attractive income guarantee policies has ''helped cushion the blow'' of the announcement marking the end of obligatory annuities for retirees.

The FTSE 100 firm is currently chosen by 1 in 7 British savers with defined contribution schemes to look after their funds. Plans have been put in place by the provider to launch a new pensions platform next year, which will offer more options for retirement income and additional flexible savings products such as ISAs.

Friends Life Chief Executive, Andy Briggs, has acknowledged the importance of customers understanding their options by ensuring the company work in unison with the government's 'guidance guarantee'. Briggs is aware of the enormity of the task ahead stating: ''There’s an awful lot to be done to get everything in place for April but we are making a significant investment in this''. 

The majority of pension providers have seen a sharp decline in annuity sales as customers postpone their retirement until the new flexible rules become more clearly defined. Retirees are also tending to cash in smaller funds as they are given greater access to their immature pension pots and allowed the freedom to compare life insurance quotes and break free from compulsory annuities.

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