Pensions  

Aegon Ireland considers direct-to-consumer variable annuity

Aegon Ireland considers direct-to-consumer variable annuity

Aegon Ireland could sell its variable annuities direct to consumers, according to Duncan Robertson.

The company’s marketing director said the products had proven popular since they were launched earlier in 2015.

Aegon is one of three unit-linked guarantees players prominent in the market in the UK, alongside Metlife and Axa.

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Mr Robertson said: “I think you could sell this product directly. Selling through advisers is absolutely our strategy at the moment, but the product could be restructured a little bit to make it simpler and sold directly.

“In reality, you should be getting advice on an annuity because it is a once-in-a-lifetime decision that you cannot reverse at the moment.

“Aegon will have longer-term plans of going direct to the consumer but at the moment it is all about the adviser.”

The guaranteed product, called Secure Retirement Income, was launched in July, and aims to build on the success of Aegon’s variable annuities in the US, which generate about £7bn a year of new business.

Aegon Ireland is looking to work with platforms to get variable annuities out to more people, and Mr Robertson said: “That will be happening at some point in 2016. It is quite an exciting year for us.”

Marvin Evans, an adviser with Gloucestershire-based Old Bank Wealth Management, said: “There are so many different variables, and until you sit down with your client and work out what’s important, you won’t know.

“The more tools we have to handle the situations that come before us the better. There has got to be demand for a product that combines the guarantee of an annuity with the flexibility of drawdown.”