Just Retirement warns of slower annuity market

Kate McCann
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INSURER Just Retirement warned yesterday that its sales of annuities are running at around half the level seen before the government’s Budget in March when a market overhaul was announced.

Revealing its third quarter results, the company confirmed that it had been hit hard by the chancellor’s changes to the annuities market, but it added that overall sales were £288m, up 34 per cent on the third quarter of 2012-13.

In a statement yesterday chief executive Rodney Cook said: “Although operating conditions have become much tougher since the Budget, with sales at around half of pre-Budget levels, we are rapidly adapting our model to the new environment.

“I am confident that by continuing to offer customers a fairer deal in retirement we can deliver further shareholder value.”

Cook added that the introduction of a new product aimed at those seeking to take out annuities before the government’s proposed changes come into force next year is a positive step for the company. “Further product launches will be announced in due course,” Cook added.

The company also launched a plan to restructure yesterday, blaming the government’s policy change.

The plan will cost £5m this financial year in one-off costs but is set to save the business £14m in the next financial year.

Despite the warning, Just Retirement shares were up yesterday, closing 1.72 per cent ahead of the opening price.

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