Pensions  

Nucleus rolls out annuity portal

Nucleus has confirmed the launch of a “bespoke” annuity portal across its platform in the wake of the recent changes to the retirement market, which many expect will result in advisers and consumers turning their back on annuities.

The new portal delivered by Spire Financial, allows advisers to quote, underwrite, track and apply for a choice of annuities, including enhanced, through the Nucleus wrap “for the first time”.

Access Annuities was developed in tandem with the Nucleus adviser community. Two firms have been piloting the scheme for the last 12 months.

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FTAdviser had previously revealed earlier this month that Nucleus was rolling out the service more widely - and that Spire was close to signing deals with other platforms to offer a similar service.

Trevor Cheal, director at Spire, told FTAdviser discussions are underway with several other platforms, one moving to the contract stage soon.

Access Annuities offers members web-based pre-populated enhanced annuity quotes, multiple, tracked quotes and multiple provider rates for each quote, an automated and electronic medical questionnaire with adviser tracking facility, guaranteed electronic quotes and pre-populated application forms.

Jon Gwinnett, pensions technical manager at Nucleus, said: “We all know that this year’s Budget changes have turned the retirement income market on its head, with many talking – somewhat dramatically – about the ‘death of the annuity’.

“In reality, the pension reforms outlined in the Budget have rendered the annuity superfluous to some, but not all.

“For a great number of people, an annuity is still an appropriate product and, through our partnership with Spire, we aim to ensure our users can provide clients with a suitable variety of options for their retirement.”

Trevor Cheal, director at Spire Financial, said: “By integrating the Access Annuity portal from Spire Financial into the Nucleus platform, advisers can seamlessly generate fully underwritten Enhanced Annuity quotes with leading providers and then apply if an annuity is part of the solution.

“The service, which can generate multiple quotes, is free to Nucleus advisers and greatly reduces adviser time with pre-populated forms and the ability for the client to complete medical data.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com