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Conduct code for pension providers

Hundreds of annuity providers will have to be more transparent and highlight the best options for customers, under a new code of conduct.

The code, created by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), will require its members to ensure customers have access to information to help them choose annuities best suited to their needs and lifestyles.

As it stands, a third of people do not shop around for an annuity, the ABI claims. And many customers buy conventional annuities, unaware that they could qualify for an enhanced version because of medical conditions or lifestyle choices.

Under the code, to be implemented by more than 300 ABI member companies, providers will have to highlight enhanced products.

They will also be required to clearly signpost support and advice, to ensure people get the help they need to secure the best possible retirement income.

The code will be implemented over the next 12 months, says the ABI.

Otto Thoresen, ABI director general, said: "Improved processes, better signposting and transparency will combine to make customers more confident and more able to make decisions about their retirement income."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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