PensionsAug 17 2017

Phoenix Life launches pension encashment portal

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Phoenix Life launches pension encashment portal
ByMaria Espadinha

Phoenix Life customers with a pension pot of £10,000 or under will be able to cash-in their pensions online.

The provider has launched MyPhoenix, an online portal that allows eligible policyholders to access their pension fund details without having to contact a call centre.

It will be available for customers aged 55 or more with a pension pot of £10,000 or under, with no guaranteed annuity rates applying to their policy.

The portal links to a database which means the customer can see relevant up-to-date policy information. 

The company said the portal’s step-by-step process includes a number of checkpoints, which encourage customers to review and reflect their decision to cash in their policy.

But the site also has a dedicated support team giving the customer the option to contact the call centre for further support if needed.

Gee Gillingham, digital project manager at Phoenix Life, said people over 55 are "embracing technology" and 50 per cent of this age group are managing their finances online.

She said: “Making a decision about your pension savings - and retirement - is one of the biggest decisions you will make in a lifetime and may be irreversible - so it’s important that customers are not only fully informed about their options but understand the decision making journey.”

Phoenix Life received positive feedback from its focus groups on the portal, she said.

“We are delighted to offer an online encashment journey opportunity for our customers at such an important time in their lives,” she concluded.

Alistair Cunningham, financial planning director at Croydon-based Wingate Financial Planning, said it is "encouraging" that Phoenix has simplified the process for taking a small pot.

This operation “should by its nature be a less frequent occurrence, and transacted in a low cost way”, Mr Cunningham said.

“As for any light-touch system, it will be important to ensure the system can capture any special cases, for example protected tax-free cash in addition to the example of guaranteed annuity rates they quote,” he added.