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Canada Life funds added to Retirement Advantage account

Canada Life funds added to Retirement Advantage account

Retirement Advantage has added seven Canada Life Investment funds to its hybrid drawdown product, the retirement account, five months after being acquired by the firm's parent.

Of the active funds five are risk targeted across the Dynamic Planner risk profiles three to seven, while two are risk managed. 

Charges, based on ongoing costs to the funds (OCF), range from 0.31 per cent for the cautious funds to 0.61 per cent for the adventurous one.

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The funds are optional, meaning advisers don't have to put their clients into them.

Retirement Advantage was bought out by Canada Life late last year with the transaction completing in January.

The acquisition added more than 30,000 pension and equity release customers to the company, as well as some £2bn of assets under management including a £1.5bn annuities book.

Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at Retirement Advantage, said the expanded fund range aimed to limit downside risk while reducing volatility.

He said: "The drawdown fund range has been designed to meet investment objectives while helping to protect clients from the risks associated with generating an income during the retirement journey.

"The addition of seven Canada Life funds signals the intent for further development of our drawdown proposition, as we are committed to developing the retirement account into a market leading pension drawdown solution."

The retirement account was launched in 2015 and combines a guaranteed lifetime annuity, pension drawdown facilities and a cash account, all within a single tax-advantaged wrapper.

Rival providers had sought to build guarantees into their drawdown products but this market soon disappeared as it was deemed the products were too expensive.

Retirement Advantage had not offered a drawdown product prior to the pension freedoms but saw an opportunity to shake up a largely "black and white" retirement market when the new rules came in.

Craig Fazzini-Jones, chief executive of Retirement Advantage, said at a recent insurer conference: "If we had sat in the room before [former chancellor George] Osborne announced the [pension freedom] changes we probably wouldn't have launched the [retirement account] because we wouldn't have thought the market was ready for it.

"By offering the retirement account we gave the advisers something to talk about to their customers to the effect of what they were hoping to get: have a guarantee, more flexibility, more control."

carmen.reichman@ft.com