National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) has today announced the names of five annuities providers appointed to its retirement panel. Each of the providers will stay on the panel for ten years.
The providers Legal & General and Canada Life will provide both conventional and enhanced annuities, while Just Retirement and Partnership will provide only enhanced annuities, and Reliance Mutual will provide enhanced annuities specifically for smokers.
NEST members can choose to shop around from other providers or buy a retirement product from the panel members.
The NEST panel members will provide suitable retirement products at competitive rates depending on savers’ pot size, it said today.
The panel had been designed keeping the members in mind and the providers have been chosen on the basis of the quality of providers, said Tim Jones, Chief executive of NEST.
“Our panel will enable members to buy a retirement income product if this is appropriate to their needs, even if they have a small pot. This demonstrates how we’re designing Nest around our members, enabling many of those new to pension savings to be able to consider buying a retirement income for the first time”, said Mr. Jones.
“Establishing a panel of high quality providers committed to Nest’s requirements means we can help members meet their aspirations”, he added.
Just Retirement is well placed to provide quality products and customer service, said chief executive Rodney Cook.
“Just Retirement’s research identifies that a significant proportion of retirees could qualify for higher levels of income provided by an enhanced retirement income product. At a time when household budgets are under pressure, obtaining the very best value when converting pension savings into a retirement income is of critical importance”, said Mr. Cook.
NEST member can rest assured they are dealing with strong brands, said Phil Naylor, director of individual annuities at L&G. “Nest members will benefit from the comfort and security of knowing they are dealing with a reputable household name that is not only financially strong but also an expert in the field of retirement income provision”, said Mr. Naylor.
However, the most important thing is no one will be forced to use the NEST panel, said Tom McPhail, chairman of the Pension Income Choice Association (PICA).
“It is not a substitute for shopping around but a backstop. Retirees still need to consider their options and alternative products such as drawdown or temporary annuities, or perhaps combining their Nest pot with another pension to generate a better income”, he said.