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Pension Annuities Under The Spotlight

News that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given pension companies just 5 months to sort out the current mess has been well received by consumer support groups and industry leaders. A report by the FSA has found that two out of every five insurers failed to make the statutory declarations to those looking to purchase an annuity to provide a pension in their retirement.

One of the main problems seems to have been the failure of many insurance companies to ensure that customers are aware that they can purchase annuities in the open market, through any annuity provider, not just the one administering their pension fund. In many cases this has led to pensioners receiving substantially less income than had been forecast by purchasing uncompetitive annuities with their pension provider. There also seems to be a lack of quality advice in the area of ill health and the options open to someone retiring because of a medical condition.

However, one of the central concerns of the FSA is in the way in which some information is conveyed to the customer. Industry jargon seems to be common place with often complicated situations not explained in detail and a language the customer can understand. Pensions are becoming ever more vital and it is essential that the authorities act now to prevent any further problems in the future.

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