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Ifas‘Concerned’ About Gender Equality Advice

Six out of ten believe uncertainty makes it difficult to advise female clients –   And 44% expect rates to be levelled down
Around six out of ten IFAs are concerned about advising female clients to buy lifetime annuities ahead of the introduction of the European Court of Justice Gender equality ruling, according to new research1 from innovative retirement income specialist, Primetime Retirement.

IFAs believe uncertainty over future pricing makes it difficult to advise on conventional annuities amid claims that rates for men could fall by as much as 13% after so-called ‘G-Day’ on December 21st.

Advisers themselves are expecting male rates to fall – 44% expect rates to be levelled down while nearly 50% expect providers to find a mid-point between male and female rates. An optimistic 3% expect providers to level rates up.

Fixed-term annuity pioneer Primetime Retirement which, as Living Time equalized rates for men and women at the higher male rate in March last year ahead of the ECJ ruling, is concerned that the uncertainty over rates is complicating decisions for people heading for retirement.

Its analysis shows the average lifetime annuity rate offered by the top five providers for a male aged 65 investing £100,000 (with a five year guarantee) is currently £5,474 per annum whereas the maximum GAD income for the same client and investment is £5,500 per annum.

Primetime Retirement can currently offer the same client an income of £7,704 per annum (subject to GAD).  Matching the income from the average of the top five LTA providers with a Primetime Retirement Plan over five years would give the client a maturity lump sum of £82,212.2

Primetime Retirement CEO Kim Lerche-Thomsen said: “Lifetime annuity rates are already at an all-time low and uncertainty over gender quality is adding to the difficulty for advisers and clients in making a decision.

“Low conventional annuity rates and the likelihood of rates dropping further due to the ECJ ruling underline the need for those who are in good health and still working to keep their options open in retirement with retirement income solutions which are flexible enough to adapt.”

Primetime Retirement’s research shows that IFAs have some sympathy for annuity providers – 41% of them believe providers have not been slow in responding while 36% believe think they should have reacted more quickly. Around 22% do not know what providers should have done.

The Primetime Retirement Plan is a deposit-based investment which offers advisers and clients a combination of a fixed income for either five or six years which is not affected by age or gender; and a Protected Maturity Amount at the end of the term which they can use to purchase another appropriate pension product. It also offers Value Protection Plus death benefit, a valuable lump sum benefit for those looking to pass on as much of their fund as possible should they die prematurely.  
For those clients looking to boost the potential purchasing power of their maturity fund, Primetime Retirement also offers a variety of investment upside alternatives to their core plan, using a Structured Deposit that links an additional maturity lump sum to the performance of the FTSE 100 Share Index. Clients can choose among the Accumulation+ plan aimed at those who are still saving for retirement; the Capital+ Plan for those seeking income and potentially higher growth; and Income+ for those looking for higher income.
More details are available at www.primetimeretirement.co.uk
*Research conducted online through Survey Monkey between 3rd – 8th October among a representative sample of 447 financial advisers specialising in retirement income advice
3Based on five years, £250,000 purchase, level escalation, nil guaranteed period, paid monthly in advance without proportion
For more information, please contact:
Phil Anderson/Jamie Brownlee
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
0207 282 1031/2858
About Primetime Retirement
Primetime Retirement Limited is registered in England, number 06950170 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, reference 505240.  Primetime Retirement is the distributor of the Primetime Retirement Plan. The structured deposit plan providing the guarantees of the Primetime Retirement Plan is provided by Investec Structured Products. The Primetime Retirement SIPP is provided by Pointon York SIPP Solutions Limited. Deposit taking business is currently covered under the FSCS up to a maximum of £85,000 per authorised institution. Further details can be found at www.fscs.org.uk