Just Retirement diversifies after sales fall 22%

Just Retirement diversifies after sales fall 22%

Just Retirement has signed an agreement with State Street Global Advisors to provide a range of risk graded multi-asset funds to meet the needs of customers using its new Flexible Pension Plan, as it revealed plummeting sales.

The deal came as results for the nine months to 31 March showed total sales decreased by 22 per cent, against a largely pre-Budget comparative period.

Total annuity sales were down 15 per cent compared with the nine months ending 31 March 2014, to £874.6m.

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As expected, this was driven by weaker individually underwritten annuity volumes, down 59 per cent to £380.3m. However, the group has made progress in the defined benefit market over the nine months ended 31 March, with premiums of £448m, compared to £42m in the previous nine months.

This represents almost five times the volume written during the whole of our previous financial year. Although this is “inherently lumpy business, the pipeline remains strong”, the results said.

Lifetime mortgage advances were 41 per cent less than in the comparative period to £222m, “but were in line with our target of 25 per cent of total annuity sales”.

However bosses were hopeful new deals would improve the providers fortunes this year.

Just Retirement’s Flexible Pension Plan offers eight risk graded funds that are diversified across global equities, money market, government and corporate bonds and allows customers to choose a fund that matches their appetite for risk.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director, said that in addition to providing solutions that deliver an individually underwritten guaranteed income for life, they now have the capability to provide the market with a wider choice of retirement propositions.

“Initially we will provide middle Britain customers with a solution to secure pension savings, not required to generate a guaranteed income for life, in a tax efficient environment supported by a range of SSGA risk graded multi-asset funds.

“This will enable people to mix-and-match their retirement savings, to ensure their regular expenditure is covered by a guaranteed income for life and keep any additional savings flexible for those just-in-case moments of unplanned irregular expenditure.”

Just Retirement also announced today that it has completed a £25m pensioner buy-in with the trustees of the Renold Pension Scheme.

Under the terms of the buy-in, which covers 36 pensioners in total, Just Retirement secured a quarter of the scheme’s pensioner liabilities by insuring the benefits of the members with the highest liabilities.

The insurer’s medical underwriting meant the scheme was able to secure the liabilities at a small discount to their assumed funding valuation after more than 90 per cent of members provided medical information.