Tag Archives: annuity


Standard Life Reveals Inflation Can Reduce A Retiree’s Purchasing Power By 68%

Standard Life, the savings and investment specialist, has warned that the effects of inflation can seriously damage one’s retirement wealth. New data released today shows that a 90-year-old who retired in 1981, when petrol cost 35p a litre, would have seen the purchasing power of a £10,000-a-year level pension income fall to just £3,207 today.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy at Standard Life said: “Inflation can have a huge impact on the purchasing power of your retirement income. As people are living longer, retirement income needs to go that much further, with a 60-year-old man retiring today living on average for another 26


“Our research shows that 57% of people do recognise that an income keeping pace with inflation is attractive. But currently, and somewhat inevitably, the majority go for the higher starting income of a level annuity, leaving only 3% choosing an inflation linked annuity. This is perhaps understandable given that annuity rates have reached record lows and level annuities start at a higher rate than their inflation linked alternatives.

“People approaching retirement need to consider their own personal inflation rate may be higher in the future than that of the average person in the UK due to the types of products and services they will consume. After 10 years in retirement, a 60-year-old man who had purchased a RPI linked annuity with a fund of £100,000 could achieve a higher annual income than someone who had purchased a level annuity.”

An example provided by the data shows the purchasing power in today’s money of a £100,000 pension fund being used by a 60-year-old man retiring in October 2011 to purchase a level or RPI-linked annuity. Various rates of inflation are shown over a 30-year period. If inflation averaged 7% over a ten-year period, the then 70-year old man would begin to receive a higher annual retirement income than if he had purchased a level annuity.

Please note in this example the level annuity receives a higher starting income than the RPI-linked version. At year 10, with inflation at 7%, there is a crossover when the RPI-linked annuity annual income exceeds the level annuity annual income. At year 22, the total payments from the RPI-linked annuity exceed the total payments from the level annuity.

Lawson concluded: “Low inflation has persisted for the last 15 years or so, but there is no guarantee that it will continue. Rising world demand for food and fuel, without a similar increase in supply, has seen prices for the basics rocket. People retiring today need to consider that they will still need to pay for food, fuel and other essentials for a long time into the future and that these basic items are likely to cost a lot more in 10 year’s time than they do today.

“There are many options to consider at retirement which could minimise the impact of inflation on your income, so seeking financial advice is vital.”

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Prudential Reports Pensioner Inflation To Cut Spending Power 60 Per Cent Over A 20 Year Retirement

Prudential has revealed that pensioners retiring this year on a fixed income could lose 60 per cent of their spending power over the course of a 20 year retirement.

Analysis from Prudential shows that the average person retiring in 2011 expects an annual income of £16,600, but if that income remains fixed it will be worth a mere£6,700 in today’s money in 20 years’ time – effectively a £10,000 pay cut. In fact, assuming that inflation remains at its current level, pensioners will need their retirement income to more than double (to over £40,000), if they expect to maintain their standard of living for the next 20 years.

Pensioner inflation or ‘Silver RPI’ is higher because people of retirement age spend a greater proportion of their income on goods and services that are subject to the highest rates of inflation – such as food and fuel.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Pensioners on a fixed income are particularly vulnerable when it comes to rising living costs and our figures demonstrate the true extent to which ‘Silver RPI’ impacts on the spending power of those in retirement.

“There are alternatives to a fixed income in retirement, for example choosing a flexible income plan that has the potential to grow could help many retirees to mitigate the effects of increasing living costs. We recommend that people approaching retirement seek professional financial advice to help them understand all the retirement income options open them.”

Research by Age UK recently found that ‘Silver RPI’ has averaged 4.6 per cent a year since January 2008 – nearly 50 per cent more than the 3.1 per cent average annual inflation recorded by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) over the same period.

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Prudential Has Further Developed Its Annuity Range This Spring With The Launch Of A Reinvigorated Flexible Lifetime Annuity

The launch comes at a time when falling corporate bond rates are putting downward pressure on conventional annuity rates and people in retirement are increasingly looking beyond traditional choices when considering their retirement income options.

Prudential Has Further Developed Its Annuity Range This Spring With The Launch Of A Reinvigorated Flexible Lifetime Annuity

The new Flexible Lifetime Annuity launches with a £35,000 minimum purchase price (after tax-free cash) – down f r o m £75,000 – and no maximum limit, making it more accessible to more customers.

The fund range is also improved and now comes complete with a range of 50 funds, 32 of which are new.

The increased number of funds will mean a wider investment choice for people who select the Flexible Lifetime Annuity in their retirement. It will include funds f r o m the leading investment houses including Artemis, AXA, BlackRock, Gartmore, and JP Morgan among others, while retaining the current range which includes funds f r o m Invesco, M&G, Newton and Prudential.

The rationale behind increasing the number of funds is to provide greater variety and flexibility within the four investment strategies offered by the Flexible Lifetime Annuity product.

Flexible Lifetime Annuity customers can choose f r o m one of four investment strategies – cautious, standard, adventurous and the self-managed investment strategy – which reflect the level of risk for each strategy, rather than the funds within the portfolio.

By increasing number of funds within the Flexible Lifetime Annuity customers will have an opportunity for greater exposure to a complete range of risk graded funds, each designed to suit both current and future appetite to risk, and with the built-in option to switch funds throughout the lifetime of their Flexible Lifetime Annuity.

Vince Smith-Hughes, Prudential’s head of business development for retirement income, said: “We are seeing a shift in the options that people are prepared to consider when selecting an annuity. Greater choice, flexibility and investment diversity are becoming increasingly important to our customer base as it becomes more sophisticated.

“A new lower minimum investment amount and a revamped fund range has increased the choice available to customers and is part of our strategy to offer the widest range of annuities in the UK.”

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Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

According to new research from Prudential, nearly a fifth (18%) of people planning to retire in 2010 will be retiring on the State Pension and savings.

Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

But 31% of the people surveyed in Prudential’s nationwide Class of 2010 study either do not know how much the basic State Pension pays or over-estimate the individual weekly amount by £25 or more.

Prudential warns the basic State Pension alone may not provide sufficient retirement income for many and urges people who are still working to save as much as possible for their old age in company and personal pensions as well as savings and investments.

“Given that so many people expect to retire on the basic State Pension, particularly when only half know how much it pays, there is still a clear need for people to understand the consequences of not making adequate provision for their retirement,” said Martyn Bogira, Director of Defined Contribution Solutions at Prudential.

“If the basic State Pension is your only source of income you could be in an extremely precarious position financially. Just one significant financial emergency, like your central heating system unexpectedly breaking down, could cause serious financial hardship for people expecting to retire on the State Pension alone.

“On its own the basic State Pension, paying just under £5,000 a year, should only really be used to supplement other sources, such as income from a pension or an annuity.

“We would urge people to pay as much as they possibly can into their retirement savings, because the State alone is unlikely to be able to support you in your retirement. The sooner you start saving, either into a company pension, personal pension or other savings, the greater the amount of money you can build up to help provide for you when you do come to retire.”

Average expenditure in households headed by someone aged 65 to 74 was £321 a week, according to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures from 2007, and £218 a week for households headed by someone aged 75 or over, but today the basic State Pension for married couples lags behind this figure by paying £152.30 a week.

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Prudential Reveals That Advisers Pin RDR Hopes Online

Prudential has released research demonstrating the need for providers to constantly adapt their services to help advisers in both the online and offline environment, with more than half of the advisers surveyed (58%) ranking better quality or more online information and service options as the most important element of the product provider/distributor relationship surrounding preparations for Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

While improving online servicing is seen as a must do by advisers, they also believe that solid account management relationships must go hand-in-hand with technology. This sentiment was highlighted by 40% of advisers citing more or better dialogue with an account manager as the next most important service element surrounding their preparations for RDR. With a combination of expert face-to-face and telephone account management teams readily available to guide advisers through obtaining and completing sales, this is a service Prudential is already supports.

Ian McKenna, Director of the Finance and Technology Research Centre (FTRC) said: “RDR will make it essential for advisers to focus on the cost of doing business in ways they have never needed to previously. It is not giving the advice that takes excessive time but the preparation. Collating information manually is hugely time consuming, electronic services can deliver in seconds what might otherwise take hours. Historically the cost of those hours has been subsidised by commission, when it is the client potentially paying for the time racking up hours in this way will no longer be acceptable. Automated delivery of information to advisers will be a hygiene factor in a Post RDR environment.”

57% of advisers claimed that their volume of client enquiries regarding retirement planning remains unchanged. This is encouraging news in the current economic climate, proving that it is vital for providers to arm advisers with all the necessary tools to deal with their continuous day-to-day business.

Jon Cross, Head of eBusiness at Prudential said: “Our research shows that advisers are becoming increasingly dependent on online services to help guide them through the changes that RDR will bring. Prudential works very closely with advisers to develop its online services, we constantly review our content and navigational functionality, and will of course continue to evolve our systems to help advisers as they change their business models ready for RDR. We are committed to providing a high level of service to advisers to ensure that they spend as little time on administration as possible. Taking their business online frees up time that would have traditionally been spent processing paperwork.”

The benefits of online servicing are clear for advisers, allowing easy access to brochures, illustrations and valuations outside normal office hours. Prudential’s adviser website houses a wealth of useful material including product guides, support literature, real-time valuations and market analysis from industry experts. Advisers can also find a variety of interactive tools covering pension planning, drawing an income and annuitisation. The ‘Support for you’ section provides advisers with updates and news regarding regulatory issues such as TCF and RDR. Also under this section advisers can hear what Prudential experts have to say as they explore various opportunities and considerations advisers face in helping their clients save for and provide an income in their retirement.

Prudential surveyed 123 independent financial advisers during April 2008.

About Prudential:
“Prudential” is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial products including life assurance, annuity products – including retirement annuity, pensions, savings and investment products. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered number 15454. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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According To The Latest Survey From Prudential, Financial Advisers Are Not Convinced That Their Clients’ Retirement Planning Is On Course

The new Prudential survey found that over two-fifths of advisers (43 per cent) said they are either not that confident or not at all confident, that their clients’ retirement planning is on course, compared to just a third (34 per cent) who said they are either reasonably confident or very confident.

However despite their doubts about how well their clients are prepared for retirement, a third of advisers (33 per cent) actually reported an increase in the number of enquiries from clients about pensions and retirement planning over the past three months. Additionally, half of the advisers surveyed said they had seen an increase in the number of clients using the open market option when shopping around for their annuity in the past three months.

Andy Curran, Director of Intermediated Sales at Prudential, said: “Advisers and providers have taken a fair amount of flak over the years for apparently not informing people that they have the freedom to shop around for the retirement products which best suit their needs.

“It’s good to see that half of advisers say they’ve seen an increase in the number of people using the open market option but it seems to me that it’s taken a financial crisis for people to start their financial planning.

“What is worrying is the feedback from advisers that their clients’ retirement planning is not on course, especially in these unprecedented times when personal financial security should be top of the agenda for everyone.”

Prudential surveyed 123 independent financial advisers during April 2008.

About Prudential:
“Prudential” is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited and Prudential Unit Trusts Limited. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial products including life assurance, pensions, savings and investment products. The Prudential Assurance Company and Prudential Unit Trusts Limited are registered in England and Wales under number 15454 and 1796126. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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UK Adults Delaying Retirement Due To Economy Reveals Prudential

According to the new Prudential ‘Class of 2009’ retirement survey, around 2.2 million* UK adults aged 45 and above** are delaying their retirement in 2009 due to the state of the economy and the falling value of their investments.

The Prudential survey also highlights that their concerns are so severe that those delaying retirement do not expect to be able to get their plans back on track for years to come.

Only one in four (25 per cent) of those delaying drawing their pension in 2009 expect they will be able to retire before 2012, with an even higher number – two in five (42 per cent) – expecting it will be 2012 or beyond before they can retire and one in four (23 per cent) believing they won’t ever be able to afford to retire.

But, despite many adults delaying retirement, nearly one in three (30 per cent) of those actually able to retire in 2009 are public sector workers, even though they make up just one in five people in the UK workforce***.

The remaining 2009 retirees will be split 35 per cent from private sector jobs and 15 per cent from self employed roles, with the remainder coming from those who are unemployed or in other sectors.

“It is a reflection of the difficult economic situation that so many workers, and particularly those in private sector roles who do not benefit from public sector final salary pension schemes, are trying to delay retirement but there are other options available,” said Martyn Bogira, Director of DC Solutions at Prudential.

Martyn pointed out that even with the economy in its current depressed state, many annuity rates have performed better than many feared and there are a number of other pension income options available, like income drawdown, which can let workers delay buying an annuity until such time as the economy has started to recover.

Martyn continued, “Now more than ever it pays to seek early retirement advice from an independent financial adviser and we would suggest that people start planning for their retirement early, ideally at least 15 years from retirement. It is vital that those saving for retirement continually monitor their investment mix to ensure they have the right risk profile to help minimise the impact of economic fluctuations and falling stock markets.”

The information contained in Prudential UK’s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

Survey conducted by Research Plus among 1,000 UK adults aged 45+ between 10 – 18 November 2008 using an online methodology

* Office of National Statistics 2007 population estimates, 2.2 million adults aged 45 and above.
** Of the survey group, the youngest age given for individuals planning to retire in 2009 was 45
*** ONS Labour Market Study, public sector staff account for 20.4 per cent of employed population in June 2005

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LV= Strengthens Its Enhanced Annuity Offering Meaning People With Minor Medical Conditions Could Be Entitled To Higher Levels Of Income

Flexible retirement solutions provider LV= has improved its enhanced annuity product by increasing the number of medical conditions accepted for enhanced terms under its conventional and with-profits annuities.

In addition to the medical conditions already accepted, customers who have a combination of milder conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and disclose them at application, may now be eligible for an enhanced annuity rate and an increased income in retirement.

Customers suffering from two or more mild medical or lifestyle conditions may now be able to qualify for enhanced annuity rates offering up to 7.5% more income than a standard annuity from the market leading provider. The new qualifying conditions include high blood pressure, being overweight, high cholesterol, smoking cigars, and smoking less than 10 cigarettes each day.

Matt Trott, Head of Annuities at LV= commented: “We hope the improvements to our enhanced annuity will encourage more people to apply and potentially receive a higher income in retirement. Many conditions that people may think are trivial and won’t enable them to qualify for an improved annuity, such as high blood pressure, may in fact open the door to enhanced annuity terms.

“It is therefore even more important that customers are open and honest about their health and medical conditions with their financial adviser. Even relatively minor conditions could increase the income they receive in retirement for the rest of their life.”

Examples of potential income increases, with the improved LV= product, compared with a standard annuity from the market leading provider:

– A 65-year-old male smoker could receive an extra £147 in income each year, equivalent to an increase of 3.2%, having disclosed he is receiving treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as being obese.

– A 65-year-old male smoker who is overweight who purchases a joint life annuity that will provide a 50% dependant benefit to his 62-year-old wife, will receive an extra £167 in income each year, equivalent to an increase of 4.8%, having disclosed he is receiving treatment for both high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

About LV
LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

LV= employs over 3,500 people, serves more than 2.5 million customers and members, and manages around £8 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008. Total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

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