Legal & General says it will double new business sales in retirement division in 2016

Caitlin Morrison
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Legal & General says it's on track to double new business sales in its retirement arm

Legal & General said today that it's on track to double new business sales in its retirement division, with sales currently at £5.4bn - compared with £2.9bn for last year.

The group said its retirement business "continues to experience strong growth in pension de-risking and lifetime mortgages," and demand has not been hindered by the introduction of Solvency II, the uncertainty around Brexit or lower interest rates.

The insurer said it has written over £400m in bulk annuity business during the month of September alone, while its lifetime mortgages business delivered record sales this quarter and is "on track to exceed £500m of sales in 2016".

Since 30 June, the firm said, Legal & General Retirement has written over £1.4bn in sales.

"Companies still need to manage their defined benefit pension plans, and people still want to achieve financial security in retirement, regardless of the uncertain political, regulatory or economic backdrop," said Kerrigan Procter, managing director of Legal & General Retirement.

"Legal & General's aim is to both create and invest in new real productive assets. This allows us to fulfil pension promises to our customers in an efficient way, deliver attractive risk adjusted returns for our shareholders, and also drive job creation and economic growth which is good for business and customers.

"Legal & General entered the lifetime mortgage market last year, and the business has grown rapidly. Customers want more choice in how they fund their retirement, and accessing wealth that is tied up in their home is an attractive solution for asset rich retirees. I expect lifetime mortgages to be even more popular with customers in 2017."

Meanwhile, Legal & General has appointed former Scottish Widows boss Toby Strauss to its board.

Interim chairman Rudy Markham said: "I am delighted that Toby is joining us. His many years of experience in the UK insurance sector further supplements the strength and balance of skills and experience of the board. I look forward to working with him."

Strauss, who was also previously the boss of Aviva's UK life insurance business, said: "Legal & General is a fantastic company committed to supporting investment in UK infrastructure and the savings, insurance and retirement needs of their customers. I look forward to joining the board."

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