Scottish Widows has temporarily extended its annuity quote guarantee period and removed the need for a wet signature to support advisers during the coronavirus crisis.
The pension provider is now allowing double the time, 60 rather than 30 days, for advisers to secure an annuity rate and transfer funds from the relevant pension scheme.
The company has also removed the need for advisers to get a wet signature from their clients to be able to purchase the annuity.
Due to the logistical and safety challenges of securing a signature, the provider will instead accept an email confirmation from clients via their adviser.
But it has warned that advisers should carry out any necessary due diligence before submitting.
Emma Watkins, director of annuities at Scottish Widows, said: “It’s important that providers do what they can to help support advisers during these challenging times, and we have responded quickly to their needs by being one of the first to make changes to our quote guarantee period.
“Hopefully this, together with no need for a wet signature to purchase an annuity, makes things a little easier for them.”
Yesterday the regulator warned firms should consider the client’s best interests rule and the fair, clear and not misleading rule when a client signs a document electronically.
Last year (September 2019), Scottish Widows launched its standard annuity to the open market, meaning consumers who do not hold a pension with the provider will still be able to buy an annuity.
By allowing non-clients to purchase a standard annuity with Scottish Widows, advisers are able to offer their own clients a wider range of provider options.
The Scottish Widows enhanced annuity was already available on the open market.
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