Personal Pension  

Aegon launches at-retirement adviser tool and website

Aegon launches at-retirement adviser tool and website

Aegon has developed a new website and interactive tool to help advisers guide customers through retirement income choices.

The income planning tool responds to the information people provide on their savings and illustrates what it could convert to through drawdown, a guaranteed product, annuity or cash lump sums, depending on the mix of options they choose.

Designed to compliment Pension Wise, the site also explains the potential implications of different options, for example to show that taking a large percentage of savings in drawdown each year could mean customers outlive their savings or that taking a large cash lump sum could push retirees into a higher tax bracket.

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Duncan Jarrett, managing director for retail at Aegon, said the launch of the tool comes as the days when an annuity was the obvious option for those at retirement have gone.

He said: “There is a massive opportunity for advisers as 65 per cent of people [in an Aegon survey last month among a sample of 540 consumers] don’t understand the pension reforms and even those who do are likely to require support selecting the right combination of income products.

“Advice has never been so important and to help advisers we’ve introduced Your Retirement Planner to bring customer options to life and the tool responds based on the combination of income options they select.”

He added that the provider expects advised customers to take full advantage of the new flexibilities and combine a range of different income options.

Aegon’s telephone and field-force have also been trained to support advisers on new decumulation options and it is providing multiple pension flexibility workshops across the UK, as well as webinars.

Mr Jarrett added that it is important customers seek out their adviser, with the site encouraging them to do so, as well as providing opportunities for non-advised customers to find one.

Phil Casey, partner at adviser firm Focus, said: “Any tools that illustrate how savings can be turned into income and which explains the risks and considerations will prove useful.”

Aegon was one of the first provides to detail its proposition ahead of next April’s changes, stating in December that its platform will enable customers and their advisers to combine income drawdown and unit-linked guarantees.

Since then many others have followed and also developed tools to help advisers explain the options to their clients, with Prudential developing an online retirement modeller and Hornbuckle launching an ‘information tree’ tool on its website last month.

peter.walker@ft.com