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New annuity offers consumers chance to change their mind

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Partnership has become the latest insurer to launch an annuity product allowing consumers to cash out after a year if they change their mind.

The Enhanced Choice Annuity allows consumers to lock in a fixed income for their lifetime with the option to reconsider after a year.

Partnership’s new product is aimed at would-be retirees who are unsure whether to buy an annuity following George Osborne’s 2014 Budget, which did away with the requirement to buy one.

Under the new rules, savers will be able to take their entire pension pot as a cash lump sum taxed at the normal rate, which for most pensioners will be 20 per cent.

Unlike a fixed-term annuity, which ends after a fixed time period, the Enhanced Choice Annity is intended to guarantee an income for life.

After 12 months, however, consumers have the option to cash out and buy a different annuity from Partnership or another provider, use drawdown or take the cash taxed at the applicable rate.

With a minimum investment of £10,000 after the pension commencement lump sum has been taken, the product also gives people the option to annuitise only a small portion of their total savings if they choose.

Andrew Megson, managing director of retirement at Partnership, said: “Partnership has been campaigning for more consumer choice around retirement income for years and the recent budget introduced what is arguably the biggest shakeup of the system for a generation.

“However, while these changes provide more options, many people who are facing retirement in the immediate future are unsure of what to do and wish to provide themselves with the opportunity to fully consider their options. This has provided us with an excellent opportunity to grow and innovate our product range to help navigate this new landscape.”

Partnership’s new product is one of several launched in response to the most recent Budget.

LV= and Just Retirement both introduced one-year fixed-term annuities to tide pensioners over until the new rules take effect. These products allow people to access their Pension Commencement Lump Sum, take an income if they need one and use their Guaranteed Maturity Amount to choose another retirement income option at the end of the year.

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