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Annuities

Looking ahead at what may happen in pension industry in 2020 I see very few things that will have an immediate impact on advisers or their clients but I do see some policies and initiatives which will result in important changes in the future.

In the December 2010 Queen's Speech, the Government reintroduced pension schemes bill and it mentioned the creation of a legislative framework to allow people to access information for most pension schemes in one place for the first time. Therefore, it seems the Pension Dashboard has become one step nearer but are we are still left waiting to know when and how.

Here are my top tips for 2020 The beginning of a new year is a good time to take stock of your personal finances and to make sure your pensions are in good shape. Be serious about retirement planning and your income needs – there is a lot at stake Follow the Golden Rules of annuities Don’t forget the Golden Rules of drawdown Avoid paying too much tax on lump sums Make su ...

I once had a client who said: “Give me a one-handed adviser”. He went on to explain that I kept on saying ‘on the one hand this and other hand that’, but he just wanted the answer.

I understood his frustration but as soon as I explained there was not one right answer and it was important to consider both sides of the argument he was happy with my two-handed approach.

I am hesitant to predict the 2020 trend for annuities as I have got it wrong in the past. I did predict 2017 would be the year of the annuity but I was clearly wrong about that.

However, there are good reasons to think that 2020 will be a better year of annuities as the Brexit uncertainty fades away. Therefore, providing the UK’s finances don’t end up in a mess I predict a slow increase in annuity rates and more retired investors converting their pension pots into income by purchasing annuities.

A balanced view of annuities and drawdown What is this all about? – Explaining the difference between annuities and drawdown. Why is it important? – converting your pension pot into cash and income is important and you should analyse all the options, not just the one you like at first sight. What is the point? – A financial adviser will give you a balanced view but if you m ...

Many people think they don’t need advice and end up making their own decisions without my help.

Why should I worry about this? After all grown-ups have the freedom to make their own financial decisions and make their own mistakes.

I worry because many people may be sleep walking into a danger zone where they may suffer a financial shock which will leave them seriously short of money in retirement.

A scandal or a cock up? This is the question I ask myself when I hear about Prudential’s £23 million fine for failures relating to non-advised annuities sales. This follows Standard Life’s £ 30 million fine in July 2019. As with most high profile public cases, there is a bit of both. First, I declare an interest as I have formally and informally helped both companies in the pas ...

I recently read a good article about non-advised annuity commissions and I think it is helpful to investigate the issue of non-advised versus advised annuities. I have been on both sides of the fence I start by saying that I have seen both sides of the fence and both advised and non-advised annuity services should result in the client getting the highest possible annuity income ...

Blow for pensioners as bond market rally hits annuities This was the headline for a story in the Financial Times – see - Blow for pensioners as bond market rally hits annuities These are the notes I provided for the FT Annuities are very expensive Annuities are very expensive at the moment which is another way of saying the rates are very low. The reason is simple; gilt and b ...

Annuities; legalised theft or best way to convert capital into income? We have been involved with annuities since they first became a topic of conversation almost 30 years ago. It is probably true to say that before 1990 hardly anyone knew much about annuity but that all changed with the launch of specialist annuity brokers in the early 1990’s such as Annuity Direct which later ...

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This website is run by William Burrows and publishes generic information on annuities, drawdown and other related retirement income matters. Any information you use is at your own risk and does not constitute financial advice.

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