ABI launches annuity rates consultation

The Association for British Insurers (ABI) has launched a consultation on proposals to conduct a regular survey on annuity rates to help those reaching retirement get a good deal.

The consultation follows the launch of the ABI code of conduct on retirement choices, in March 2012, which requires its members to provide clear information to people nearing retirement.

As part of the code, the ABI proposed that it would publish a range of annuity rates available from its members to help people understand how providers’ offerings fit into the wider annuity market.

The ABI intends to achieve this by surveying members using a number of typical retiree profiles and asking what each provider would give as an annuity to that person.

Stephen Gay, director of life, savings and protection at the ABI, said: “Buying an annuity is one of the most important financial decisions people make and shopping around for the right one can make a significant difference to people’s retirement income.

“Making the market more transparent is a further step in helping people with this decision.”

Steve Webb, minister for pensions, added: “This move by the ABI to improve the transparency of annuity rates is a step in the right direction. Pensions need to be simple and clear so that people can engage with them.”

The consultation, which will run until 3 December 2012, is seeking views from stakeholders and insurance companies.