Advisers driving annuities

Colonial First State's (CFS') FirstChoice and FirstWrap platforms have exceeded $535 million in funds under management (FUM) on the back of advisers driving annuity offerings.

According to CFS, annuities usage was on the rise and had become a stronger part of the advice offering as education and understanding of the benefits annuities they provided in retirement improved.

CFS head of retail sales, Laird Abernethy, said they launched annuities on the CFS platform more than a year ago as advisers were looking for more efficient ways to deliver advice, particularly in retirement.

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"With the addition of Challenger annuities last year, advisers have benefitted from more choice when it comes to portfolio construction and meeting the needs of clients approaching or already in retirement in one place," he said.

"More advisers are seeing the benefits of using annuities in conjunction with an account-based pension by constructing portfolios that provide a regular income from a lifetime or term annuity whilst benefiting from potential market gains and income from the account-based pension.

"The streamlined application process and consolidated reporting benefits of annuities on platform means more advisers are now seeing they can meet the complex needs of those in retirement whilst maintaining administration efficiencies."

Abernethy noted annuities were also an important consideration for retiree clients that will be impacted by the asset test changes in January 2017.

"More advisers are looking to partner with providers who have deep technical support and a range of product solutions to support their retiree clients," he said.

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I do wonder about the value here. Platform fee and adviser fee possibly coming off a very low interest rate annuity, the upside in age pension would need to be considerable, and all at a time when in the last few months long term bond yields and inflation have started to rise as many predicted they would. Whenever money 'rushes' into a product type its often at precisely the wrong time.

Hi Phil, There's no platform fee charged by FirstChoice or Firstwrap - they're basically just giving you access to the same product you get if you go direct to Challenger with the ability to report on it through the platforms.

Thank you, my mistake, makes a difference.

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