Articles - LV= reveals gender plans for annuities

 Retirement specialist LV= will be accepting gender specific annuity business up until 20 December 2012[1].
 It is changing the point at which an annuity contract is formed, ahead of the EU Gender Directive coming into force on 21 December - ‘G Day'.

 Providing LV= has received a fully completed and signed annuity application by 23:59 on 20 December, including any medical information required, the annuity can be completed on gender specific rates even if funds are received after G Day, or if the annuity completes outside of the 30 day quote guarantee period[2].

 An annuity contract will be formed at the point when the completed application is received and accepted by LV=, rather than when the funds are received. This enables LV= to ensure business is on the books before the gender deadline, and that clients remain on gender specific rates even if changes are made to their details or circumstances, or a new quote is issued after the 30 day guarantee period has expired. This is because the initial contract will be formed before G Day.

 For annuity quotes offered before the gender deadline, but where LV= has not received and accepted the full application by 20 December, the annuity will need to be re-quoted on gender neutral rates. After G Day LV= will issue annuity quotes on a unisex basis, for individual, occupational and employer based schemes.

 Phil Brown, LV= Head of Retirement Propositions said: "We are one of the first providers to announce a clear strategy for how we will handle annuity business in the run up to G Day. Our solution means advisers can get more clients accepted on gender specific rates, before the deadline. We are giving advisers certainty that their clients won't get stuck in the pipeline awaiting fund transfers and that they don't have to complete within the 30 day quote guarantee period to hold on to gender specific terms.

 "Accepting applications up until the last minute of 20 December, and being able to form a contract at that point, will give many more retirees the opportunity to receive a higher income in retirement."

 Annuity rates post G Day:

 Men's annuity rates are currently between 5% and 8% higher than women's. After G-Day rates are likely to fall nearer to today's female rates initially, but could increase over time as more data allows insurers to price with increasing confidence. This will vary from provider to provider and rates given will also depend on a number of other factors including age, health and risk appetite. There is no guarantee how annuity rates will change immediately after G Day, so it is essential advice should still be given according to an individual's needs.

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