Lewis predicts post-Easter rush for pensions info

Lewis predicts post-Easter rush for pensions info

Pension providers and advisers should expect to be inundated with enquiries on the first working day after Easter, Steve Lewis of LV= has said.

Mr Lewis was speaking after the Bournemouth-based friendly society confirmed it its ready to offer flexible access drawdown from 7 April.

But he said this year’s early Easter - meaning the changes come into force over a bank holiday weekend - will be one of the factors leading to a high demand for information.

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LV=’s head of distribution said: “I have no doubt that there will be a large increase in demand for advice and people will want to know what their options are.

“This year the tax year ends over the Easter weekend and the consumer will be reading the financial press and they will be able to think about things and look at their options.

“The challege of the March/April market is that if a business is not ready and has not reviewed its capacity and systems then it could have some serious problems.”

Mr Lewis said LV= has been preparing for the pension reforms since the summer.

He said he expects most pension specialist firms to be ready for the changes but warned smaller companies - and those which are in an array of industries - may not be.

From 7 April LV= will be offering a flexible access drawdown product with a 0.25 per cent annual service charge - the same as its current drawdown product.

Moving a pension fund into drawdown will incur a £175 charge but there will be no fees for withdrawals which can be as regular as a customer wants.

John Perks, managing director of LV= retirement solutions, said: “We have already seen an increase in demand for income drawdown since the Budget as it has become a far more accessible and attractive proposition for advisers and their clients.

“In response to demand, we launched a low cost and simplified drawdown solution last year.

“For those advisers with clients who are already in drawdown, we can guarantee that they will be able to benefit from the flexibility that drawdown provides in later years as we will continue to offer it to those post 75 in the new world, as we do today.”