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27th Jun 2014
The government’s changes to annuity purchase effective from April 2015 will have an immediate bearing on individuals’ decisions today. Those approaching retirement need to decide whether to purchase an annuity (then find the best annuity available), to draw down pension funds or to take cash. This is one of the most important financial decisions to be taken by those about to retire as, once decided, it is difficult to change the decision and can mean a financial loss by making the incorrect decision.
CTC Software has developed a planning tool that helps people understand their ‘at retirement’ choices. It is easy to use, available over the web and on tablets, and is backed by leading actuaries.
There are four main areas of the Retirement Hub:
1. Client priorities
The one known factor when considering retirement planning is the available pension fund. Pair this with a simple view on client priorities and the Hub will intelligently determine a potential income scenario i.e. how best to use the fund.
2. Scenario modelling
Explore options between annuity purchase, drawdown or taking cash. Retirement Hub can work from pre-defined income scenarios where the levels of income and how often paid can be changed as required. Scenarios such as “deplete funds over life expectancy” have a full actuarial basis to optimise income withdrawals.
3. Scenario comparison
This offers a visual comparison of different scenarios between annuity, drawdown and cash. Results are presented graphically to compare one decision to another. Changes and adjustment to income and funds can be fine-tuned.
4. Making a purchase
The Retirement Hub makes it possible to get real time quotes and compare alternative providers and products – both annuity and drawdown – based on a selected scenario.
The input fields are easy to complete and the graphs help identify which choices are the most suitable as seen below.
Financial Advisers and their clients can benefit from the Retirement Hub as can providers of retirement products and those that provide services to retirees. Currently the CTC Retirement Hub is on trial with a number of financial advisers to provide input to the future development of the tool. A retirement options report is produced which provides all the assumptions used and the required compliance.
Holly Mackay CEO of Platforum says “The Budget has shoved pensions firmly up the agenda for most, with drawdown taking centre stage. Technology will inevitably be part of the solution for the advice gap ‘at retirement’. CTC Software recently presented the Retirement Hub at Platforum’s Technology Showcase – ‘Top Gear’. It provides an interesting way of looking at annuities side-by-side with drawdown which feels like a timely discussion for groups to be having”.
Philip Hodges, Commercial Director of CTC says: “To our knowledge there is no other technology available to provide compliant guidance backed by actuarial calculations about ‘at retirement’ financial decisions. Whilst the debate continues about who should provide ‘at retirement’ advice CTC has launched the Retirement Hub to lead the way to help retirees see the implications of their retirement financial decisions.
“Anybody can use the Retirement Hub and we urge financial advisers, retirement product providers and those that help the retired to make Retirement Hub available through face to face or online guidance or by inclusion in websites, before the wrong irreversible decisions are made. CTC’s modelling tools used in the Hub are already accessed by over 10,000 advisers in the UK”