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Annuities and accessibility: how the industry can empower consumers to make rational choices

Byrne, A. and Harrison, D. and Blake, D. (2006) Annuities and accessibility: how the industry can empower consumers to make rational choices. [Report]

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Abstract

This is the third of our series of reports that focus on pensions issues of direct relevance to insurance companies, financial advisers, employers, trustees, consumer bodies and policymakers. Pension annuities are complex financial instruments that are not well understood by the press or consumers. This report sets out to identify barriers to greater efficiency in the pension annuity market and to propose solutions. By 'pension annuity' we refer to immediate individual annuities bought with defined contribution (DC) pension funds at retirement. This excludes the voluntary annuities that consumers purchase with non-pension capital, and the bulk buy-out market, where employers offload defined benefit (DB) liabilities through the purchase of immediate and deferred annuities for scheme members.