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Aviva simplified advice pilot faces delay

Aviva simplified advice pilot faces delay

Aviva Financial Advice is finalising the outline of its simplified advice pilot and expects to launch in the first quarter of this year, following a slight delay.

The firm told FTAdviser it was getting ready to launch its pilot, which was originally scheduled for last year but faced delays due to Aviva prioritising work on other advice services.

The objective of the pilot is to explore the key areas of demand in this field.

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “We remain very much committed to launching simplified advice, which will allow more people, who might otherwise not benefit, access to financial advice.

“We are finalising the shape of the pilot, and expect to launch in the first quarter of this year.”

FTAdviser reported back in August that the firm was planning to launch a pilot in late 2021 which would be a simpler, digitised model of Aviva Financial Advice at a low cost point, to help clients decide whether they are in the right funds and whether they should bring two pensions together.

But Aviva said this would not be a robo-advice service and that the main fact-finding would be done online through a personal finance portal, with advice given by an adviser at the point of decision-making.

FTAdviser understands that while the pilot has not been significantly delayed, Aviva has prioritised delivering other work on its advice proposition, including advice on investments, inheritance tax planning and more recently moved to a whole of market annuities model.

The firm said it will continue to work to make advice available to a wider number of people.

It will be announcing further details on the launch soon.

Aviva Financial Advice was launched in November 2016 and initially focused on at retirement services.

But it has since expanded and now offers defined benefit transfer advice, abridged advice, investment advice, inheritance tax planning and equity release advice.

This week, the firm changed its annuities model. Advisers can now 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.

amy.austin@ft.com

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