Fidelity to enter retirement market

Fidelity Worldwide Investment is set to enter the retirement market with a service available to customers across all its UK business channels.

The new retirement service will support customers of Fidelity’s Personal Investing, FundsNetwork, retail funds, defined contribution and workplace savings arms.

Fidelity has appointed Richard Parkin as head of retirement to lead the development of that part of its business.

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The service will aim to introducing more options and variety to the marketplace.

Ed Dymott, head of business development for Fidelity’s UK business, said: “As an industry we should be providing much better outcomes for retirees in the UK. We have all focussed for far too long on the accumulation of wealth and should be doing more to provide support for those who wish to take income in their retirement.

“Over the next few years, Fidelity will be investing significantly to create a new retirement service which aims to provide our customers and their advisers with the ability to make the most of their retirement savings.”

Mr Parkin said: “For too long the default option for retirees has been to annuitise. Whilst we are pleased to see a greater adoption of open market annuity solutions which provide access to the best annuity rates, as an industry we can do better for our customers.

“The inflexible and irreversible nature of annuities means they may not always offer people what they will need to manage the ups and downs across the whole of their time in retirement.”

He added that instead of leaping automatically into an annuity, customers should look at their assets more holistically.

He added: “This may involve combining a range of products to ensure they achieve their goals in retirement. More importantly though, we need to make sure individuals have the right support in making these decisions.”

Mr Parkin will take up the role at the end of October. Fidelity said in a statement that “a number of initiatives are already underway and further announcements will be made in due course”.