Response to FCA annuity review

14th February 2014

Commenting on the Financial Conduct Authorities’ announcement that it is to launch a study into competition in the annuities market, Gina Miller, Founder of the True and Fair Campaign stated:

“Ending the scandalous rip-off of hidden costs and fees that erode the value of pension savings over workers’ entire careers, and then rip them off again when they come to annuitise, needs more than just a review on pension switching. This industry needs root to branch systemic reform; it is rotten to the core. We hope the FCA reaches the same conclusion and acts more urgently in the interest of consumers, and then widens its review to all products in the pension industry.”

Posted By: True and Fair, 1:59 pm

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“It is shameful that for so long the insurance industry and its trade body the ABI, have been allowed to perpetuate these anti-consumer practices. Today, the FCA has stated that its review of the annuity market will take a year. If your home was burgled and you knew who the burglar was, would you expect the police to take a year to respond?”

“The entire pensions industry is fundamentally broken. The debate needs to be a more holistic one focusing on delivering a completely different approach which is simpler, more transparent, and more flexible. This includes axing many of the DC schemes and either extending ISAs or offering the Australian style super trusts. The annuities market is simply the tip of the shoddy UK pensions industry system.”

“The fact that 80% of people could get up to £1,500 more for their retirement just by shopping around exposes the morally corrupt heart that lies at the centre of the UK pensions industry. After spending two-years campaigning for an end to hidden costs and fees, I find it utterly incredible that the financial services sector in the UK continues to deny the scale of the problem.

“We urge the FCA to deliver a comprehensive verdict and guidance on the entire pensions saving system that looks at the total costs and fees charged for pensions and annuities, at the same time as they examine annuity switching. Anything else will just be tinkering around the edges.”

“The UK is simply not a good place to grow old, and where OAP now stands for Old And Poor.”