Personal Pension  

Nearly two thirds favour guaranteed drawdown over annuities

Nearly two thirds favour guaranteed drawdown over annuities

Five months on since pension freedoms day, 59 per cent of people are now choosing to guarantee the drawdown of their pension pots.

By comparison, just 41 per cent are looking to purchase a guaranteed annuity, according to the April to August figures from software provider Selectapension.

The firm provides around 60 providers with almost 400 products, gathering data from the various tools to get a picture of what investment choices are being made across the market.

As retirees turn to flexible, investment-backed solutions following the at-retirement reforms, 39 per cent of advisers are now actively selecting funds on behalf of their clients, with 2 per cent outsourcing to discretionary fund managers.

The findings suggest that advisers are beginning to make more proactive investment selections, although 39 per cent are still selecting default funds for their clients, which Selecapension suggested may not be the most appropriate strategies since 6 April.

Data also revealed the funds which are currently the most popular through the Flexible Retirement Optimiser tool.

It found that the Vanguard US Equity Index is the most popular fund advisers are currently selecting, followed by Jupiter Strategic Bond and Old Mutual UK Alpha funds.

Andy McCabe, managing director at Selectapension, said: “Following the pension reforms, more people are looking to review their retirement options, and the flexibility offered by drawdown is becoming more attractive as annuities are slowly losing their lustre as the most popular investment choice.

“Whilst it’s positive to see proactive adviser investment selection, it is worrying that a significant proportion of clients continue to have funds in the default investment selection; inertia can be costly.”

He added that default funds may no longer be appropriate or the best option in the light of the new reforms, so it is vital for advisers to educate their clients and ensure they understand what the most suitable investment solution is for them.

peter.walker@ft.com