Aviva to launch adviser rival at-retirement service

Aviva to launch adviser rival at-retirement service

Aviva is planning to launch an at-retirement service later this year, in response to increased demand since last year’s pension freedoms.

Andy Barton, Aviva’s client advice director, told FTAdviser people now have a lot more choice in respect of their retirement savings, but with that comes a lot more complex decisions.

To help those without an existing adviser relationship through this, the provider is developing a new in-house team to support existing customers.

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Sessions will be offered on a face-to-face basis, although digital portals would help to streamline the process. Pricing is still being worked on, although Mr Barton said it would be “as cost effective as Aviva’s other services”.

The service is being designed to sit alongside other channels through which consumers can access Aviva’s at-retirement products, with an initial focus on the at-retirement space, although this may be expanded to pre-retirement options next year.

Mr Barton was keen to stress the same care will be taken, as is currently the case, to check with customers whether they have an adviser in place already. “This is an additional support mechanism for those who don’t already have an IFA,” he added.

While he admitted there’s still a lot of work to do, Aviva plans to have an initial team of 20 advisers - plus technical support staff - in place by the fourth quarter.

Aviva is currently recruiting for these positions, with a minimum of Level 4 qualifications, plus “a strict process and a high level of investment and pensions knowledge” required.

Advisers will be restricted to Aviva products, but for those who insist on a whole of market offering, Mr Barton said referral relationships with Tenet and Foster Denovo are already in place.