A lot has been mentioned in the media this year about the new pension freedoms that came into effect in April and the wider range of options now available to those approaching retirement. But what of those who are already retired? Shouldn’t these new freedoms be available to those individuals too? After all, the decision to purchase an annuity for many was the only option at retirement and many may have chosen a different route had alternatives been available.
In last year’s March Budget, the Chancellor announced plans to give the same freedom to individuals who had purchased an annuity.
The process for putting new legislation into law involves a detailed consultation and like many providers, Canada Life has contributed to this consultation process. We expect to hear the results of the consultation later in the year but it was announced in the July Budget, shortly after this year’s general election, that the new second hand annuities market would be launched some time in 2017.
Canada Life has always recognised and fully supported the customer’s right to choice. We will welcome the new freedoms for annuity customers when the proposed changes become law. However, until the legislation is finalised, selling or cashing in an existing annuity is not an option that is currently available.
If you would like more information on the Secondary annuity consultation, details can be found via the government website.