Damning FCA report probing the annuities market highlights the need for independent financial advice

The report from the Financial Conduct Authority probing the annuities market was pretty damning. It announced that an estimated 60% of people simply take the deal they are offered by their pension provider when reaching retirement. The report found that most people are just not made aware that they have the right to shop around and look for a better deal on the open market.

The report also criticised the price comparison websites that have been set up to service the annuities market. The Regulator looked at 13 sites and reported poor practice on all of them, with key information and risk warnings being insufficiently prominent or even missing altogether. It also stated that they have discovered that several sites are describing their service as ‘free’ whilst taking sales commission from the customer’s pension pot.

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