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Pru prepares new pension products launch

Pru prepares new pension products launch

Prudential is in talks with various platform technology providers about boosting its back office systems in preparation for the launch of new products linked to the pension freedoms.

A spokesman for the life and pensions giant explained that the platform would be administration-based, rather than an investment wrap.

He said that they were in pre-development conversations with various providers in order to secure one that would help build the systems scale required to support new products for the millions of retirees now considering their new options.

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Prudential has made no secret of its plans to bring new innovations to market, with a briefing last August from Jackie Hunt, UK chief executive, stating that platform development would be part of a £100m investment in diversifying away from annuities in the wake of the 2014 Budget.

The UK’s biggest insurer by market value reported a 43 per cent drop in annuity sales during the first half of last year, with Ms Hunt stating the money would fund a “very broad based range of products and propositions”, including developing with-profits and income drawdown offerings as well as Isas.

In November, the Pru launched a platform-based bond proposition on the Ascentric wrap, with Mark Polson, the Lang Cat’s founder, suggesting at the time that they were using platform technology as an underpin “to provide retail products which will play nicely with other platforms”.

It has already struck a deal to use systems supplier Iress’s advice platform XPlan for the financial planning arm relaunched last February.

No more specifics on the latest plans were given at this stage, but the spokesman said that any new launches were unlikely before the summer.

peter.walker@ft.com