18th October 2010, London:
Premier Retirement Services (PRS), a division of JLT Benefit Solutions that specialises in pension annuities, was recently engaged by Confused.com to design its new webbased annuities comparison platform, Confused Annuities.
The service will offer consumers the ability to compare annuities from leading providers, which collectively account for 90 per cent of all business written in the open market annuity sector.
For some time the pensions industry has been calling for the Open Market Option to be more widely publicised. Research from the Association of British Insurers indicates that only a third (36 per cent) of people buying an annuity in 2009 shopped around and more than £5 billion of funds were simply rolled over with the existing provider, meaning many retirees may have lost out on additional income for the rest of their lives.
JLT Benefit Solutions, part of the JLT Group, is recognised as a market leader in innovative pensions technology, particularly online. The appointment by Confused Annuities is a significant endorsement of its continuing growth in reputation and market share in this area.
Paul Armitage, Head of DC Consulting at JLT Benefit Solutions, commented:
"We are delighted to have been selected by such a highly regarded company as Confused.com and are pleased to have been a part of developing this outstanding new service.
"The issues facing pension funding are well publicised and the UK faces some major challenges to ensure that large parts of the population do not face poverty in retirement. These issues make it even more important that individuals are empowered to select the best options for their annuity, which is what Confused Annuities aims to achieve."
Matthew Lloyd, head of annuities at Confused.com, said:
"Like PRS, Confused.com feels very passionately about encouraging people to make use of the Open Market Option to secure the best possible income, something that has become even more important in the tough economic climate of recent years. We are delighted to be the first comparison site to offer this service, which would not have been possible without the expertise that PRS brought to the table and demonstrated throughout the process of delivering this platform.
"The unrivalled choice which will now be available to UK consumers to enable them to boost their income in retirement will make a significant difference to many people."
Group Corporate Communications JLT Benefit Solutions
Isabella Young Simon Hazeldine
+44 (0)20 7558 3387 +44 (0)1727 775 102
About Confused Annuities
Confused Annuities enables individuals to check rates available from leading annuity providers, tailoring their own needs and investigating benefit options. Medical and lifestyle conditions can also be entered to see whether they enable qualification for increased income. It is estimated that a significant proportion of people could increase retirement income by as much as 40 per cent depending on medical situation.
Research from Hargreaves Lansdown indicates that the overwhelming majority of UK consumers will retire with a pension of less than £50,000, for whom the best option is often to purchase an annuity to provide a regular income in retirement.
The research facility provided by the service is free to use with a commission payment only being due from the selected annuity provider once a customer has completed an annuity purchase. For customers looking to invest less than £50,000, and are seeking advice on the type of annuity, a small fee will be due to cover the costs of such advice. All customers will receive assistance in completing paperwork and arrangement of the annuity with the appropriate charges being outlined beforehand.
About Premier Retirement Services
Launched in 2001, Premier Retirement Services provides annuity services to over 500 pension arrangements with responsibility for over 1 million members. They provide services to Trustees of defined benefit schemes, where Trustees wish to secure pension benefits through an insurance company, and also to members of defined contribution arrangements, including AVCs, where they are offered a choice of either an assisted purchase or advised service, both of which deliver an end-end service designed to maximise their income in retirement, irrespective of fund size.
Premier Retirement Services is part of JLT Benefit Solutions.
About JLT Benefit Solutions
JLT Benefit Solutions Limited (JLT) is one of the UK's leading employee benefit providers offering a wide range of benefit and pension services, including administration, actuarial and pension consultancy, investment, wealth management, Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs) flexible benefits, healthcare, benefit communication and financial education.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, JLT employs over 1,200 professionals in the UK with revenues of some £90.5m in 2009. The recent acquisitions of HSBC Actuarial and Consultants Limited and iimia Wealth Management have supported JLT's continued expansion to become one of the four largest employee benefits consultancies in the UK. This year JLT was awarded Pension Scheme Administrator of the Year at the 2010 European Pensions Awards.
Other pensions and employee benefits companies within the JLT group of companies include: Profund Solutions Limited, Independent Trustee Services Limited and Pension Capital Strategies Limited.
JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd is part of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc.