Aviva Financial Advice has moved to a whole of market annuities model, replacing its previous referral requirement.
Under the new model, advisers can recommend other providers’ annuities and complete the set-up process as part of their role advising on the whole of a customer's retirement needs.
As a result, clients will be able to stay with their AFA adviser, who will understand their personal situation and can provide advice on securing the right annuity and get the best rate from across the whole market.
According to AFA, this will make things easier for clients as their information only needs to be collected once and everything is handled by the same adviser.
Rob Barker, managing director UK savings and retirement at Aviva, said by moving away from referrals and to this new model it would make the advice process more joined-up end-to-end.
“This new proposition is better for our customers as AFA can advise on an annuity from across the whole market as part of their existing advice rather than being referred to a third party,” Barker said.
“It’s very important that people have advice at the point of choosing an annuity, as it’s a once-only decision that can’t be changed. Without advice, too often customers may opt for a product which gives the highest initial return, without understanding the implications of their choice, such as whether their circumstances would be better served with guarantees, for instance, or by selecting certain death benefit options.”
AFA was launched in November 2016 and initially focused on at retirement services.
But now it has since expanded and now offers defined benefit transfer advice, abridged advice, investment advice, inheritance tax planning and equity release advice.
Barker said: “Our ambition is to help bridge the advice gap, so we will continue to look at how we make our advice offering more accessible to more people, whether that is by adding more propositions, if we see the demand, or thinking flexibly about other ways in which people can benefit from advice, whether that’s the full service or a simplified version.”
In August the firm said it was also looking at launching a simplified advice pilot which was supposed to be a low-cost digital version of Aviva Financial Advice.
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