Personal Pension  

Aegon unveils retirement proposition for new flexibilities

Aegon has today (9 December) given further details of its proposition ahead of next April’s changes, stating that its platform will enable customers and their advisers to combine income drawdown and unit-linked guarantees.

The firm said many of its proposition elements are ready now, with the combination of unit-linked guarantees and drawdown being called Secure Retirement Income and will being made available on the Aegon Retirement Choices platform and One Retirement products.

By combining the modern guaranteed option with drawdown, customers will be able to vary the amount of income they take over their retirement and the proposition will meet the dual customer demands for flexibility and income certainty.

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David Macmillan, managing director at Aegon, told FTAdviser that after gauging adviser reaction to the Budget, his team went away and worked on combining existing capabilities to help deliver the flexibility in retirement that was now being demanded.

“With flexibility comes complexity though, so we’ve focused on support services to help customers and advisers through the process. It also helped that we weren’t distracted by having to build drawdown capabilities, as we already had that on our platform.”

The firm stated that as its platform is one of the most recent to launch, it has the most modern technology and will be able to best manage the spike in demand next Spring.

Alongside the actual options, Aegon is launching a retirement income planning tool to help the customer and adviser model income plans, taking account of the pensions flexibilities, tax implications and how long their money might last.

It also launched a new website, designed to help advisers understand all elements of the new income proposition and give insight on how Budget changes may affect their clients.

In September the Aegon High Income Fund was introduced and additional funds with more active income strategies are due to be launched shortly.

Mr Macmillan said that Aegon took the view of “the sooner the better” with the launch, and added that the proposition should help the platform maintain, if not grow, market share next year. “Over the next few months we’ll see who’s going to best prepared for the reforms,” he added.

peter.walker@ft.com