14 January 2014
Guy Simmonds, Head of Product – Protection & Investments, Nationwide Building Society, said: “The launch of the ‘Pick-A’ directory of retirement specialists from the Pension Income Choice Association (PICA), in which the Nationwide Annuity Service is featured, is a welcome boost to efforts to help customers shop around and find a better deal as they approach retirement.
“Nationwide would urge those customers approaching retirement to shop around for the best annuity deals. The advice offered through the Nationwide Annuity Service has helped thousands of customers to make the most of their pension pots to achieve the best annuity deal. Our customers, on average, have enjoyed a 19% uplift on the annuity rate offered by their existing provider.
“In addition, by taking the time to understand the customer’s health and lifestyle we’ve helped just under 60% of our customers to qualify for an enhanced annuity. We have also helped customers to find the most appropriate annuities, which might include spousal benefits, inflation protecting and guaranteed payment periods. As a result, we have supported our customers to secure a more comfortable and secure retirement.
“Annuities can be very confusing and our customers often tell us that they are overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and the number of options available when it comes to retiring. Customers may also be reluctant to highlight health issues that could lead to an increased annuity, or not examine other options, such as whether spousal benefits are right for their circumstances. Increasing the availability and provision of advice is an essential step to enabling customers to maximise their income in retirement.”
PICA’s ‘Pick-A’ directory is now available to the public. More than 1,000 firms have signed up to the directory, which has a commitment to clear and open pricing, agreed standards and helping many more pension savers to receive professional support when shopping around for a pension income. The Pick-A directory can be found out at www.Pick-A.org
Nationwide’s Annuity Service launched in March 2012 and is available to all customers approaching retirement with a total pension pot from £18,000. It offers access to a panel of leading providers, encourages customers to shop around for the best annuity option available and, where certain health conditions permit, directs customers towards potentially enhanced annuities for a higher monthly income.
It provides access through The Open Market Annuity Service to a panel of leading annuity providers, carefully chosen and regularly reviewed by Nationwide on the basis of their financial strength, customer service and competitive rates. There are currently six on the panel: Aviva, Canada Life, Just Retirement, Legal & General, LV=, and Partnership.
About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million members.
Customers can manage their finances in branch, on the telephone, internet and post. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK. The Society has around 15,000 employees.