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Lifetime guaranteed income market offers too little choice: MetLife

Lifetime guaranteed income market offers too little choice: MetLife

Two-thirds of intermediaries specialising in the retirement market are concerned about the lack of choice for clients who want lifetime guaranteed income, according to a MetLife study.    

The findings formed part of the life assurer’s report, entitled Guaranteeing Real Pension Freedom, which features research involving samples of 107 specialist retirement advisers, 1,006 pensioners as well as 1,141 in employment aged 45 and over.

It also found that nearly half (45 per cent) of savers aged 40 and over worry that a lack of guaranteed income choices is driving people to take risks with their money.

However, one in five admitted to not having a full understanding of the choices they face which would help them receive the level of retirement income guarantee they are looking for.

The report calls for guarantees and guaranteed drawdown to form a central part of the Government’s new guidance framework in Place of Pensions Wise and the Pensions Advisory Service.

This would help prevent people from taking unnecessary risk with their capital at retirement because they do not understand their choices, according to the firm.

Simon Massey, wealth management director at MetLife UK said: “Our research has uncovered a worrying gap in knowledge which has the potential to massively impact the retirement savings of a huge number of people.”

He added: “We believe retirement conversations need to change to include a wider range of options – anything that encourages this, including guarantees and guaranteed drawdown to form part of the new guidance framework, should be supported across the board.”

Adviser view

Gary Nettleingham, managing director of Catalpa Financial Planning, based in Brentwood, said: “There is probably a lack of product innovation and more products would be helpful for pensioners. More products in the marketplace will ultimately drive down costs which is a good thing for clients."