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                                                                      June 2007




                             Pensions
                             Annuities
                             E-EXCELLENCE
                             RATING 2007
                                               In association with:
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            PENSIONS – WHAT WE LOOKED AT                                                                    28 June 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk           E-COMMERCE         3




         The simple truth
         O
                   f all the traditional life and pension products,                                               employers will act as pension champions who can provide
                   individual pensions continues to be the product                                                information on the importance of pension provision.




                                                                                       Ian McKenna
                   where e-commerce has had the least effect. Given                                               They are particularly focusing on groups seen as being
                   the simplicity of the product, there must be obvious                                           particularly at risk of under-providing for their income
         questions as to why? In making this statement, it is important                                           in retirement, specifically stated as being women, over-50s,
         to recognise that this month’s measurement of providers’                                                 young people, ethnic minorities and so-called “at risk”
         propositions is based around their simple pension product                                                industrial sectors such as the construction, retail, hotel
         as opposed to self-invested personal pensions, which                                                     and restaurant industries.
         will be the subject of a further study later in the year.                                                   I have already written about the opportunity I believe
            One of the overwhelming messages from our research                                                    exists for the industry to step in and provide some form
         among advisers on this subject it that the current e-new                                                 of calculator capable of aggregating the values of multiple
         business processes for pensions are simply not user-friendly                                             pension contracts now that the government planner is not
         enough to meet their needs. Unfortunately, until such time                                               proceeding. If the TUC is getting its act together to deliver
         as providers can simplify the process for advisers, they are                                             something, it becomes even more important that the industry
         likely to continue to get the vast majority of new personal                                              also should be able to deliver a solution. Ideally, this might
         pension business on paper.                                                                               be done in collaboration, it certainly would not be helpful
            At the risk of repeating a message I seem to have been                                                if the TUC and industry services worked differently. However, it
         delivering a lot recently, advisers need a new business process                                          will, of course, be essential to make sure that this is practical
         that reuses all the information they will have captured in their                                         from a compliance perspective as the TUCs pension champions
         existing systems, specifically the client management system,                                             will presumably not be regulated.
         and uses it to populate both quotation services and online                                                  Delivering annual statements to advisers and their clients
         applications. In addition, advisers want to see information                                              electronically rather than on paper must have the potential
         on applications being delivered to them electronically into                                              to save the industry millions of pounds each year while at the
         their own client records, that is, within the client manage-                                             same time delivering more information more effectively
         ment systems.                                                                                            to clients. If, instead of providing vast numbers of paper
            If providers can reuse the information advisers have                                                  statements, advisers could download electronic copies
         already captured and provide further information to them                                                 of these to their own systems, these could be stored far
         electronically, then we will begin to get to the move towards                                            more easily with the client record in the client management
         an environment where paper applications will represent less                                              system as opposed to needing to scan in all these documents
         work than electronic applications. Given the narrow margins          Advisers continue to express        or invest in ever expanding filing cabinets.
         that exist for both advisers and providers from such business,                                              How many advisers would feel comfortable about the
         it is important that every part of the process requires              concern that providers’             prospect of their clients being able to access an online pension
         as little manual intervention as possible and, as always with                                            aggregation tool via the TUC site but not being able to offer a
         e-Excellence studies, we have based the overall scores on the        pension business services           similar services themselves? Increasing numbers
         services different providers deliver to support each part                                                of advisers are recognising that they can only provide levels
         of the advice process. Indications of the strengths and              are not user-friendly and until     of service to customers commensurate with the income the
         weaknesses of different life offices can be found in the
         summary on page 4.
                                                                              providers rethink the way           client generates and that the days of cross subsiding one client
                                                                                                                  from another are well and truly over.
            From the adviser perspective, managing the ongoing                that they operate, most new            I am increasingly meeting firms which are prepared
         relationship with the client is, of course, the primary                                                  to consider limiting the level of service they provide
         concern. With individual pensions becoming an increasingly           business will be done on paper      to clients who do not generate a certain level of income
         commoditised product, service is becoming an ever more                                                   and this is particularly appropriate for individual pensions.
         important differentiator. In the protection market,                                                      In turn, this is driving demand for new types of services
         very keen rates might protect a provider from losing                                                     from providers and increasingly it will be those that can
         serious market share due to adverse service and, indeed                                                  help advisers work with clients in a new way that will
         if you are not in the right ball park rate-wise, even the best                                           be best placed to benefit.
         service cannot win market share. When it comes to pensions,
         nothing will turn an adviser off faster than an inefficient
         provider. One or two bad experiences can seriously damage
         the relationship.
            For this reason, it is particularly important that support
         services for pensions such as contract enquiry work whenever
         an adviser uses them and if they do not, the provider needs
         to have in place a mechanism to follow up any message
         requests that might fail. Although the overall volume
         of contract enquiry messages has increased considerably
         over the last few years, advisers will quickly revert to the
         phone if contract enquiry messages fail or provider extranets
         do not give them what they need.
            We also came across an increasing level of interest from
         advisers in seeing information delivered in new ways
         to clients. There are indications from at least some advisers
         that they would prefer to see benefit statements delivered
         to clients electronically. With the increased focus on
         businesses’ carbon footprints, it may be that it is now
         time to look seriously at how much of the paper which
         providers post to clients could be delivered more effectively
         in different ways.
            There may also be an opportunity for the industry to
         partner up with an unusual ally in this respect. In March,
         the TUC launched its Pension Doctor service, an online tool
         designed to help people understand how much income
         they can expect to receive in retirement. This can be found
         at http://pensionschampions.worksmart.org.uk/pensions
         doctor/. It is my understanding that the service currently
         provides for state pensions , Serps, S2P, graduated retirement
         benefit, personal, defined contribution, average and defined
         benefit employer schemes, personal pensions, AVCs and
         stakeholder but does not include section32, Sipps, self-
         administered schemes or retirement annuity contracts.
            This is clearly at least in part a reaction to the Government’s
         decision not to proceed with its plans for a similar service. The
         idea behind the scheme appears to be that individuals within
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             4 E-COMMERCE               2 8 June 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk                                                                                          PENSIONS – HOW THEY




         Standard surge
         T
                he diversity of scores achieved by different providers          the other hand more work is needed in areas such as                benefit statements category, where it achieved third place
                in our individual pensions exercise demonstrates                valuations & benefit statements.                                   overall. Areas of its individual pensions proposition which
                the huge gulf that exists between the leaders and the                                                                              would benefit from further development are extranet,
                laggards in this important product area. In a market                                                                               tracking/pipeline services & re-population and e-new
         where, increasingly, service is the differentiator as products
         become increasingly commoditised, this should send an
                                                                                Prudential                                                         business capabilities. By stark contrast, the section 32
                                                                                                                                                   proposition has much to commend it and achieves
         important message to advisers who want to improve their                Individual pensions                                                an eee rating, coming third overall for this product.
         own efficiency. By comparison, the limited number
         of providers that have invested in technology to support
         their Section 32 proposition shows the extent to which
         this has become a niche product post A-Day.                            Prudential narrowly missed out on an eee rating this
                                                                                                                                                   Winterthur Life
                                                                                year but has retained its ee+ rating from 2006. Its indiv-         Individual pensions
         Standard Life                                                          idual pension proposition ranked second in the e-new
                                                                                business capabilities and tracking/pipeline services
         Individual pensions                                                    & re-population sections.                                          Section 32


         Section 32                                                             Clerical Medical                                                   Winterthur Life also provided two propositions at opposing
                                                                                Individual pensions                                                ends of the spectrum, ranking 10th overall for individual
                                                                                                                                                   pensions with an e+ rating while its section 32 offering
         Standard Life has leapt to the top of the individual pensions                                                                             took the second eee rating in its category. The individual
         leader board this time from its ee+ rating of 2006, attaining                                                                             pensions proposition came second overall for fund options
         first place in four sections of this year’s survey, those being        Clerical Medical has also retained its ee+ rating for its indiv-   and adviser support services, yet it ranked poorly for third
         links and integration, online facilities/services, tracking/           idual pensions proposition, with its highest scoring area          party links & integrations and quotes generation, both 13th-
         pipeline services & re-population and adviser support                  being valuations & benefit statements, where it came second.       place results. Its section 32 offering fared far better by
         services. The areas where it could further develop its                                                                                    comparison although the absence of tracking/pipeline
         proposition are benefit statements, where it rated ninth, and                                                                             services & re-population and client access functionality
         fund options, where it came 12th. Its proposition would also
         benefit from the addition of pensions calculators & what
                                                                                AXA                                                                should be addressed.

         if tools, where it failed to return a score. Its section 32 offering   Individual pensions
         is at the other end of the spectrum, only achieving an e- rating
         in the study, indicating a service that needs a great deal
                                                                                                                                                   Skandia
         more work.                                                                                                                                Individual pensions
                                                                                Slipping from the eee rating attained in 2006 to be third
         Friends Provident                                                      of the ee+ rated providers this year. Strengths are pensions
                                                                                calculators & what if tools section but more work is needed        Section 32
         Individual pensions                                                    for commission processing and adviser support services,
                                                                                where it was 13th and 14th respectively. The lack of track-
                                                                                ing/pipeline services is another area that hurt them.
                                                                                                                                                   Skandia is no longer the e-commerce powerhouse it once was
         Rating second overall in the individual pensions section,                                                                                 but it is only fair to recognise that its focus for the last year
         Friends Provident has retained its eee rating from last year.
         Its proposition achieved first place in the quotes generation
                                                                                Scottish Widows                                                    or so has been the imminent launch of the combined
                                                                                                                                                   Skandia/Selestia platform which is not taken into account
         and client access sections of the study. Its lowest-scoring            Individual pensions                                                in this rating as it has yet to go live. This will be an obvious
         sections were fund options and online facilities/services,                                                                                rating to review once the new platform is launched.
         where it ranked ninth and tenth respectively.

                                                                                Section 32                                                         Legal & General
         Aegon Scottish Equitable                                                                                                                  Individual pensions
         Individual pensions
                                                                                Scottish Widows has shown a dip in form. It achieved a first
                                                                                place in the e-new business capabilities section but needs         Section 32
         Section 32                                                             to do more around benefit statements. Its section 32 propo-
                                                                                sition is really only strong for pensions calculators & what
                                                                                if tools, otherwise being consistently among the lower half
                                                                                of an already limited group of providers.                          Another provider with a strong e-commerce proposition
         A very solid performance from Aegon Scottish Equitable                                                                                    in other areas that struggles with what should be a simple
         retaining its eee rating for individual pensions and coming                                                                               product. 2007 sees Legal & General slide down the leader
         first in the section 32 ratings. Aegon equalled Standard Life’s
         first place tally in the individual pensions ratings, scoring
                                                                                FundsNetwork                                                       board from the ee rating previously achieved. Key areas such
                                                                                                                                                   as e-new business capabilities, quotes generation and links
         top in the extranet, benefit statements, valuations & benefit          Individual pensions                                                & integrations need more work.
         statements and commissions sections but its proposition                                                                                     L&G faired better with its section 32 rating, where its
         was let down by its fund options, where it rated 13th overall,                                                                            proposition took first place overall in the quotes gener-
         showing that additional development would bring benefits.                                                                                 ation and e-new business capabilities sections of the
         The Aegon section 32 proposition performed particularly                An ee rating is not a bad performance from a relative newcomer     survey. Its lowest-scoring areas were the online facilities/
         well in our survey, attaining top place in no fewer than seven         to this sector. Areas such as quote generation are limited,        services, valuations & benefit statements, client access
         sections, including extranet, pensions calculators & what if           as are the online benefits statements. I will be interested to     and adviser support services sections, where it was fifth
         tools and commissions.                                                 review this rating after the emergence of FundsNetwork 2.          out of six in each.


         Norwich Union                                                          Scottish Life                                                      Tomorrow
         Individual pensions                                                    Individual pensions                                                Individual pensions


                                                                                Section 32
         The final of the eee ratings for the individual pensions survey                                                                           Tomorrow (formerly GE Life) failed to improve on its
         sees Norwich Union leap up the league table from its e+                                                                                   e rating from 2006. Its individual pensions proposition
         rating of 2006. It achieved first place in the pre-population                                                                             achieved only mid-table or lower results in all sections
         and re-population section, possibly the most important area            Slipped slightly from its ee rating of last year. Its highest      of the survey. The core extranet needs work, as do
         of all if you want to make things really easy for advisers. On         mark for its individual pensions proposition came in the           valuations & benefit statements, where it came last.
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           RESULTS                                                                                                                                                moneymarketing.co.uk • 28 June, 2007                       E-COMMERCE             5
         Product Area                                                                                                                                                                                                              Declined to
         & Month Published             eee +               eee                       ee +                        ee                          ee -                    e+                        e                  e-                be Rated

                                                                                                              LIFE & PENSIONS

         Individual Pensions                         Standard Life L             Prudential            Scottish Widows M                Scottish Life M       Winterthur Life N         Tomorrow                                Merchant Investors
         June 2007                                 Friends Provident          Clerical Medical           FundsNetwork N                                          Skandia N                                                     Partnership Assurance
                                                       Aegon SE                    AXA M                                                                     Legal & General M                                                        Selestia
                                                    Norwich Union L                                                                                                                                                                   Zurich
         Section 32 Pensions                             Aegon SE                                             Skandia                   Legal & General       Scottish Widows                                Standard Life      Merchant Investors
         June 2007                                     Scottish Life                                                                                                                                                           Partnership Assurance
         New Study                                   Winterthur Life                                                                                                                                                                  Selestia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zurich
         Conventional Annuities                         Prudential               Canada Life             Legal & General                 Standard Life                                 Norwich Union
         June 2007                                       Aegon SE                                                                                                                            AXA
         New Study                                                                                                                                                                    Friends Provident
                                                                                                                                                                                      Scottish Widows
         Investment Linked Annuities                    Prudential                                                                                                                           AXA           Legal & General
         June 2007                                                                                                                                                                     Norwich Union             LV=
         NEW STUDY                                                                                                                                                                                         Scottish Widows
         Enhanced Annuities                             Tomorrow                                                                                               Just Retirement                              Norwich Union
         June 2007                                                                                                                                               Prudential                                Scottish Widows
         New Study
         Life Protection                            Legal & General              Aegon SE              Liverpool Victoria L                 BUPA N           Scottish Widows M                                                        Lutine
         February 2007                               Standard Life               Prudential           Scottish Provident L                                     Bright Grey                                                     Partnership Assurance
                                                   Friends Provident             Royal Liver N                 AXA L                                                                                                                   Pulse
                                                    Norwich Union
         Critical Illness Protection                Legal & General              Aegon SE              Liverpool Victoria L                 BUPA N           Scottish Widows                                                     Unum Provident
         Febraury 2007                               Standard Life               Prudential            Scottish ProvidentL                                     Bright Grey
                                                   Friends Provident            Royal Liver L                  AXA L
                                                    Norwich Union L
         Income Protection                          Legal & General             Royal Liver L          Liverpool Victoria L                                    Bright Grey L          Standard Life L                           Cirencester Friendly
         Febraury 2007                                                           Aegon SE L           Scottish Provident L                                                                                                      Holloway Friendly
                                                                                                       Friends Provident                                                                                                              Lincoln
                                                                                                               AXA L                                                                                                             Unum Provident
         Menu Protection                             Legal & General              Prudential            Friends Provident                 Bright Grey
         February 2007                                                            Royal Liver           Scottish Provident
         New Study                                                                Aegon SE              Liverpool Victoria
                                                                                                                AXA
         Investment Bonds                           Scottish Widows L           Prudential M             The Hartford M                Legal & General L       Winterthur L                                                         Canada Life
         November 2006                               Standard Life             Funds Network N            Scottish Life N                                                                                                             Lincoln
                                                   Friends Provident          Norwich Union M               Cofunds N                                                                                                            Liverpool Victoria
                                                          AXA                    Aegon SE L                                                                                                                                     Merchant investors
                                                                              Clerical Medical M                                                                                                                                      Selestia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Skandia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Wesleyan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zurich
         Offshore Bonds                                                                                                                     Axa M               Prudential M           Standard Life N                              Canada Life
         November 2006                                                                                                                                                                  Aegon SE                                      Lincoln
                                                                                                                                                                                     Clerical Medical                            Liverpool Victoria
                                                                                                                                                                                     Friends Provident M                        Merchant investors
                                                                                                                                                                                      Norwich Union N                                 Selestia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Skandia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Wesleyan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zurich


                                                                                                                      ADVISERS

         Adviser                                     Positive Solutions          Park Row IFA             L&G Partnership               Home of Choice      Co-operative Insurance
         Technology                                        SIFA                Bankhall Connect                                           Tenet Group
         August 2006                                   M2 Financial           Park Row Managed           Millfield Alliance                                 Barclays Select Choice
                                                                                 Sales Adviser
         New Study                                                                                        Norwich Union
                                                                                                         Personal Finance

                                                                                                   Friends Orion (Friends Provident)


                                                                                                                   MORTGAGES

         Non Conforming                             Accord Mortgages             Norwich &             Platform Homeloans                                                             Amber Homeloans      Freedom Lending          Chelsea BS
                                                                                Peterborough
         Mortgages                                         Edeus                                          West Bromwich                                                                                                            First National
         January 2007                                  BM Solutions             Mortgages plc                                                                                                                                    Mortgage Express
         New Study                                      Coventry BS           Rooftop Mortgages                                                                                                                                     Salt Finance
                                                     Bank of Scotland
                                                      Money Partners
                                                        GMAC RFC
                                                  The Mortgage Business
                                               Kensington Mortgage Company
         Mortgages                                       Halifax L                Norwich &            Intelligent Finance L           Bank of Scotland N      Bristol & West N         Portman BS N       Clydesdale Bank N       Cheltenham &
                                                                               Peterborough L                                                                                           (Mortgage Works)                            Gloucester
         February 2006                             Accord Mortgages                                      Mortgages plc L                  Leeds BS M          UCB Homeloans N
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (Lloyds TSB)
                                                     Northern Rock                 SPML N              Mortgage Express M         Platform Homeloans N
                                                   Standard Life Bank N            Abbey L                                                                                                                                          Nationwide
                                                      The Mortgage          Birmingham Midshires L                                                                                                                                   Woolwich
                                                        Business N
                                                                                 Kensington
                                                                            Mortgage Company L
                                                       GMAC RFC
                                                      Coventry BS N
                                                   Alliance & Leicester L
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           6          RESULTS 28 June, 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk
                 E-COMMERCE                                                                                                                                                                       RESULTS
         Product Area                                                                                                                                                                                   Declined to
         & Month Published         eee +              eee                 ee +                 ee                  ee -                  e+                       e                  e-                  be Rated

                                                                                                      WEALTH

         Wrap & Wealth                         Standard Life             7IM L             Cofunds           Funds Network L         Lifetime M                                                            Ascentric
         Management                                                                                           James Hay L                                                                                  Neucleus
         April 2007                                                                                                                                                                                         Selestia
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Skandia
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Transact
         Portfolio                            Scottish Widows      Norwich Union       Friends Provident M    Prudential M
         Planning                                Aegon SE              Cofunds N                             Standard Life
         Tools                                 Funds Network
         April 2007                                 AXA
         Unsecure Income                          Aegon SE           Standard Life L   Scottish Widows M      Winterthur L       Friends Provident L                             GE Life M                   A J Bell
                                                                                                                                                                                                   (inc SIPP Centre & SIPP Deal)
         (Income Drawdown)                                         Norwich Union N                                                                                           Legal & General M
         September 2006                                            James Hay SIPP L                                                                                           Pal Partnership N          Canada Life
                                                                                                                                                                                  AXA M                     Selestia
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Skandia
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Suffolk Life
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Zurich Life
         Self Invested                             Lifetime N      James Hay SIPP L                                              Legal & General L            GE Life N                                     A J Bell
         Personal                              Norwich Union L       Standard Life L                                                Suffolk Life N                                                  Brown Shipley & Co
         Pensions                             Scottish Equitable   Funds Network N                                                 Winterthur M                                                     Cater Allen Limited
         June 2006                                  AXA L                                                                            Skandia M                                                            Killik & Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Merchant Investors
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pointon York Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Premier Pension Services
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Zurich




                                                                                            GROUP PENSIONS

         Group Personal                         Standard Life M       Prudential             AXA
         Pensions                                 Aegon SE                              Legal & General
         January 2007                         Scottish Widows                           Clerical Medical
                                              Friends Provident                         Norwich Union
                                                Scottish Life
                                                   Fidelity
         Group Stakeholder                      Standard Life M       Prudential             AXA
         Pensions                             Scottish Widows                           Legal & General
         January 2007                              Fidelity                             Norwich Union
                                                  Aegon SE                              Clerical Medical
                                              Friends Provident
                                                Scottish Life
         Group SIPP                                Aegon SE                                                   James Hay SIPP
         January 2007                            Standard Life
         New Study




         Group CIMP                              Standard Life                                 AXA            Clerical Medical     Norwich Union           Legal & General
         January 2007                               Fidelity                                                                                                  Prudential
         New Study                             Friends Provident
                                                  Scottish Life
                                                Scottish Widows
                                                   Aegon SE
         Group Section 32                           Fidelity       Scottish Widows             AXA                                                          Norwich Union      Clerical Medical
         Pensions                                 Scottish Life                                                                                               Prudential      Legal & General
         January 2007                          Friends Provident
         New Study                                 Aegon SE




         N = New (not previously rated). The purple upward arrows are for ratings improved, the green sideways arrows are for ratings maintained, red downward arrow for ratings reduced




         I
             was recently asked what I felt is the most important           The range of adviser firms consulted will vary from                         Over the next couple of months, we will be working
             part of the e-Excellence process. This was an easy           survey to survey depending on their business focus.                        on the requirements for the e-Excellence studies for
             question to answer – the adviser consultation.               Some organisations will take part in nearly all our                        self-invested personal pensions, including drawdown,
             The focus of our studies is to identify the extent           studies, others that may have a particular speciality                      investment bonds, group pensions and non-confor-
         to which provider firms are meeting adviser priorities           will only be involved in one or two. While we partic-                      ming mortgages so advisers with a specific interest
         and expectations.                                                ularly take account of the needs of bigger distributor                     in this area are very welcome to make contact with
            In doing so, we have to recognise that different              organisations we also see it as important to include                       the FTRC team if they would like to be included in the
         adviser firms work in significantly different ways and           smaller adviser firms.                                                     consultation process.
         the current changes taking place in the market can only            When capturing adviser requirements, it is essential                        In recognition of their involvement, firms which
         exacerbate this.                                                 that we do so in a way that is practical and cost-effective                participate in the adviser workshops are provided
            Challenging though it might be, providers need to find        for the advisers.                                                          with detailed extracts from the final collated results
         solutions to meet the needs of a diverse range of adviser          Consequently, we increasingly use online meeting                         which are produced in considerably more detail than
         firms. In preparing the ratings, we too face the test            technology, specifically the Go To Meeting product from                    is practical in a supplement of this type.
         of aggregating a wide range of different adviser                 Citrix in a combination of audio conference call and web-                     This is one of the best possible ways of ensuring
         requirements.                                                    based presentation to enable us to consult with an ever-                   that providers deliver the e-commerce services that
            All the research team at FTRC have had first-hand             increasing number of adviser firms without their needing                   advisers want.
         experience working in adviser businesses from nationals,         to leave their offices.                                                       It is fair to say that an increasing number of providers
         networks, smaller practices and sole traders in a wide             The results of these sessions drive not only the areas                   are using output from the e-Excellence studies to define
         range of roles, including advisers, paraplanners and             we examine within the surveys but also the scoring                         their future development priorities. If you would like
         compliance so they are well placed to recognise the              matrix that is individually created for each product area                  to be involved in an e-Excellence workshop for one
         frustrations caused by processes that do not support             as the mechanism to arrive at the different level of ratings               of the product types listed above, please contact
         the ways advisers need to interact with their clients.           achieved by each provider.                                                 me at ian.mckenna@ftrc.co.uk.
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            ANNUITIES – WHAT WE LOOKED AT                                                                      28 June 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk           E-COMMERCE         7




         Time and motion
         F
                 ew, if any, areas of the market can be more frustrating                                              an adviser’s own website. This presents the opportunity for
                 for advisers to operate in than annuities. For very good                                             significant savings on the part of both advisers and providers




                                                                                       Ian McKenna
                 reason, provider rates are highly time-sensitive and for                                             not just in the quotation process but also in the processing
                 clients to take best advantage of them, transactions                                                 of applications. Creating a paper system that requires
         need to be completed quickly. Yet the processes in the market                                                complex quotation information to be manually re-entered
         really have changed little since the 1970s and customers are                                                 into systems will inevitably lead to some human error in the
         very keen to see transactions completed promptly because                                                     entry of data, with the consequent frustrations for all
         they may be relying on them for income and even if they are                                                  involved. By hosting such a service electronically, the
         not, when payments do commence, there is no additional                                                       information could be validated at the point of entry.
         payment made for amounts that would have been payable                                                           Were such a system to be linked to one of the many
         had the transaction not been delayed.                                                                        automated underwriting systems such as those that
            On the other hand, this is a product where advisers can                                                   are used in the protection market, there would be a further
         increase the client’s income for the rest of their lives                                                     opportunity to capture even more accurate information from
         at no extra cost to the customer, so it should be a major                                                    the client leading to even more accurate quotations and the
         opportunity. Although the Government rarely has many                                                         chance to offer the consumer, in the right cases, even more
         good things to say about financial advisers, there is no doubt                                               advantageous terms.
         that the annuity market is one area where they would like                                                       It may be that some consumers would not want to go into
         to see every consumer take independent financial advice.                                                     this detail online, however, if it is communicated to them that
         Particularly at the small end of the market, in a means-tested                                               in doing so they might be able to achieve a worthwhile
         environment, increasing a consumer’s annuity can frequently                                                  increase in their post-retirement income, this could make
         mean a considerable reduction in the state benefits payable.                                                 many customers far more willing to do so. It is also possible
            As an industry, I believe we have two choices. First, we could                                            that many people will not want to discuss the intimacies
         do nothing, accepting that, because of the involvement                                                       of their medical details with advisers. Giving them the
         of ceding schemes, the process is always going to be time-                                                   opportunity to submit such information electronically
         consuming and frustrating and avoid spending any money                                                       could also help alleviate such concerns.
         on trying to improve it – just keep using the same old paper                                                    During our adviser consultation in creating this
         processes. If the industry chooses to go down this road,                                                     e-Excellence study, it was clear that more and more advisers
         annuities are likely to become more and more the preserve                                                    have compliance concerns about offering a conventional
         of a small number of specialist brokers who focus on doing                                                   annuity without at least exploring the impaired market. Given
         it well because admin delays will make this class of business        Processes in the annuity                the increased level of activity we are likely to see
         uneconomic for advisers. At a time when providers are keen                                                   as a result, there seems to be to be a strong case for some
         for advisers to end their reliance on provider support and           market have not changed                 form of shared service or utility that could administer
         run as self-sufficient, properly funded businesses, this would                                               and process these applications rather than each individual
         hardly seem a sensible approach.                                     much since the 1970s and it is          insurer building their own processing capability.
            The alternative is, I believe, for providers to do all they can                                              Provided that the processing costs can be contained
         to minimise the opportunity for errors and enable advisers           up to providers and advisers            for both adviser and provider, it should be possible to help
         to have a clear understanding of exactly what information
         will be needed and when. If the work carried out by the
                                                                              to work towards creating a              millions more people achieve better incomes in retirement.
                                                                                                                      If those who have had the vision to deliver a common quot-
         adviser and the provider can be carried out more efficiently         more efficient system that              ation form build on this further, it may yet be possible
         there will be time savings that can be achieved. Given that                                                  to streamline annuity administration.
         it is so much in the interests of the Government to ensure that      saves time and aids clients                The common annuity quotation form can be found
         the maximum number of people at least explore open market                                                    at http://www.commonquotation.co.uk/.
         options, if providers and advisers can demonstrate a real
         effort on their part to improve, then we will be in a far
         stronger position to seek government support in requiring
         better standards of service from ceding schemes.
            Understandably, given all the A-Day changes, resources
         to improve annuity processing have probably been scarce
         among most providers in the last couple of years. It is also
         a market where the number of players is relatively limited.
         Indeed, several providers now have arrangements to pass
         their own annuity business to other providers. For those
         providers which are still in the market, however, there
         is a great deal that can be done to improve present processes.
            There is now a standard quotation request form for
         enhanced and impaired annuities that six insurers, Just
         Retirement, Norwich Union, Partnership Assurance,
         Prudential, Scottish Widows and Tomorrow have agreed.
         This form allows the prospective client to provide personal
         details and medical assessment information for themselves
         and a dependent where a joint life contract is requested,
         including specific reference to a range of diseases.
         Supplementary questionnaires are included for heart attack
         or conditions, diabetes, cancer and related illnesses and
         strokes as well as defining the information needed in the
         case of high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, chronic
         reparatory, kidney and liver disease. The adviser also has
         a section to indicate the terms on which quotations are
         requested and give details of the anticipated annuity
         purchase price, requirements for cash sums, protected
         and non protected rights, including pre- and post-97
         amounts and the various different payment options required.
            Achieving a single form must be a significant achievement.
         It is certainly something I know a lot of advisers would
         welcome in the protection market but in doing so I believe
         the participating life offices have actually identified many
         ways in which the annuity process could be improved. To me,
         the common quotation request screams out for an electronic
         equivalent. Obviously not everyone would want to use such
         a service initially but there is clear evidence that consumers
         in retirement frequently become active users of the internet.
            There is clearly potential to create an electronic version of
         the common quotation request that could be reused within
P7-8   22/6/07   4:05 pm      Page 4




           8 E-COMMERCE             2 8 June 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk                                                                         ANNUITIES – HOW THEY SCORED




         Pru hits the right key
         F
                or the 2007 e-Excellence studies, we are in fact                                                                                finished second overall in the enhanced annuities survey,
                reviewing the annuity ratings only eight months after                                                                           behind Tomorrow. It recorded four second-place results
                the previous study. This is as a result of changes to our                                                                       in respect of the quotes & key features documents, under-
                self-invested personal pensions study later in the year                                                                         writing services, tracking facilities and links & integration
         which will now feature Sipp accumulation and drawdown                                                                                  facility sections of the study. Some form of e-new business
         in a single supplement. Despite the shorter than normal                                                                                offering would do a great deal to improve their position.
         timescale between the two studies, things have clearly
         moved on with the first providers’ achieving eee ratings.
           In addition we have also extended the ratings to differ-
                                                                                                                                                Norwich Union
         entiate between conventional, investment linked and                                                                                    Conventional annuities
         enhanced annuities although the market for the latter
         product are made up of a much smaller number of
         providers’ annuities.                                                                                                                  Investment-linked annuities
           With the increased demand from advisers for enhanced
         annuities we have also extended the ratings to differentiate
         these products, and also investment linked annuities, in order                                                                         Enhanced annuities
         to give a clearer picture of where providers’ have carried out
         extra work to support these specialist products. There were a
         number of areas where virtually few, if any, providers scored
         well, client reporting being an obvious example. As with                                                                               Commission payment processes are really the highlight
         individual pension products there must be an opportunity for                                                                           of the Norwich Union proposition where it actually came
         providers to take significant cost out of their processes and                                                                          top in all three studies. Other than that, it is another provider
         deliver more information more effectively using e-commerce.                                                                            which, having made an excellent showing in individual
                                                                                                                                                pensions, has much to do in the annuities market.
         Prudential                                                                                                                             No other areas really distinguish this proposition.
         Conventional annuities
                                                                                                                                                AXA
         Investment-linked annuities                                                                                                            Conventional annuities


         Enhanced annuities                                                   to decline to be rated on its annuity proposition last year,      Investment-linked annuities
                                                                              Canada Life has come third in the conventional annuities
                                                                              section of this year’s study. The only provider to provide
                                                                              any mechanism for confirming rates for cases online,
         Continuing its market-leading performance, Prudential                it also achieved top scores in the client reporting and           This has to be a “must try harder” for Axa. Again, nothing
         achieved the highest level of rating in two categories               annuity, post-retirement & retirement option tools sections       really to distinguish its service although in fairness it did
         particularly, scoring top marks in the quotes & key features         and second place overall in the quotes & key features docu-       manage the second-highest score for investment-linked
         documents, tracking facilities and links & integrations              ments and tracking facilities sections. It currently only has     annuities, which does not say much for the whole sector.
         facility sections for both conventional and investment-              an e-commerce proposition for conventional products
         linked annuities although on the integration front this
         was the highest score in an area where all providers
                                                                              but if it extends the functionality to other areas, it will
                                                                              be building on sound foundations.
                                                                                                                                                Friends Provident
         performance was low. The e+ rating in the enhanced                                                                                     Conventional annuities
         annuities category saw Prudential finish third out of five.
         They achieved top marks in the tracking facilities and support
                                                                              Legal & General
         services sections but they need to put more effort into this         Conventional annuities
         area if they wish to match their achievements for more                                                                                 Friends Provident’s e rating for conventional annuities
         traditional products.                                                                                                                  indicates that its proposition will benefit from further
                                                                              Investment-linked annuities                                       development in a number of areas. Its highest score was
         Tomorrow                                                                                                                               recorded for client reporting where it was second overall,
                                                                                                                                                yet seventh position for quotes & key features documents
         Enhanced annuities                                                                                                                     and links & integration facility, together with its eighth place
                                                                              Last time, Legal & General had jumped from a single e to ee+      in the commission section shows there is still a lot of work
                                                                              but it would appear that it has not quite kept pace with the      to be done.
                                                                              competition in recent months, slipping back to an ee rating
         Only a player in the enhanced market but its proposition
         is clearly ahead of all the competition in this area. Particularly
                                                                              for conventional annuities. A great deal of work is needed in
                                                                              the investment-linked annuity area if it wants to pursue this.
                                                                                                                                                LV=
         distinguished by their quotation underwriting services and           One of the few providers to make transfer forms available         Investment-linked annuities
         key features services. There is still room for further improve-      online, which is a move in the right direction.
         ment and we think the firm should particularly look at exten-
         ding its quotes underwriting to full e-new business as well
         as adding tracking capabilities.
                                                                              Standard Life                                                     A fifth place overall finish for Liverpool Victoria’s investment-
                                                                              Conventional annuities                                            linked annuities proposition. It achieved the highest mark
         Aegon Scottish Equitable                                                                                                               for client reporting and was second in respect of tracking
                                                                                                                                                facilities. It needs to spend more time on links and
         Conventional annuities                                                                                                                 integration as support services for advisers.
                                                                              Standard Life’s fifth place in the conventional annuities
                                                                              survey was the result of a mixed bag of scores. It achieved
                                                                              top marks for the core extranet capabilities sections, yet only
                                                                                                                                                Scottish Widows
         Although currently only offering conventional annuities,             registered scores in three other sections, fourth place overall   Conventional annuities
         Aegon attained second place overall with two second-place            for commission, fifth overall for quotes & key features
         scores for extranet & product options and commission                 documents and last place in the e-new business capabilities
         sections, and two third-place finishes for quotes & key              category. Having scored so well for individual pensions,          Investment-linked annuities
         features documents and tracking facilities.                          it needs to spend more time on this product if it is to be
                                                                              a priority for the firm.
         Canada Life                                                                                                                            Enhanced annuities

         Conventional annuities
                                                                              Just Retirement
                                                                              Enhanced annuities
                                                                                                                                                E-commerce and annuities clearly do not mix for Scottish
                                                                                                                                                Widows, which achieve the Watford/Dunfermline
         A highly creditable performance from a company which had                                                                               position in each of the league tables. Probably best
         previously declined to participate. Following its decision           Only a player in the enhanced market, Just Retirement             not to say any more.
P09   22/6/07   10:57 am     Page 10




         ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE                                              28 June, 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk               E-COMMERCE          9




         Technology solutions
         A
                   t AEGON Scottish Equitable, we believe in the                        request a quote before 5.30pm, we will post a fully compliant
                   importance of retirement planning and the value                      quote pack out that evening.
                   of financial advice. So we like to do whatever                          Our annuities team also make use of automatic workflow
                   we can for you, as a financial adviser, to make giving               technology as part of the conveyancing service. This is free
         advice as straightforward as possible. And that is where our                   and available to all advisers. We chase up funds from ceding
         technology comes in.                                                           providers as well as any other outstanding requirements
            We have not just developed technology for the sake                          to make sure annuities are paid as quickly as possible. The
         of it – full of flashy extras that look good but don’t actually                technology helps our annuities team to diary and automate
         do anything. We’ve taken the time to talk to you and find                      this process, sending reminders to their colleagues in other
         out what you want and what you need to help you succeed                        companies to release the funds, including details of how and
         in the fast-evolving at retirement market. And we’ve listened                  where to send them.
         carefully to you to come up with a range of technology                            The technical zone on our website gives you a simple,
         solutions that do exactly what they’re supposed to – make                      straightforward way to find reference material and
         your life easier.                                                              comments on current market issues. These comments range
            One of the things you asked for was more support in doing                   from emerging opportunities for your business and news
         ongoing reviews for your clients. So we’ve introduced a range                  on current industry issues to profiles of our industry experts
         of secure online services to help with this. We also have links                and which industry events you can see them at.
         to several of the major back-office (CRM) platforms and                           We have a wide-ranging choice of online services for you
         support tools such as Unipass to make doing business with                      and our goal is to make this range even more far-reaching
         us even more simple. And we can now give you your comm-                        while making sure it is still easy for you to find exactly
         ission statements electronically in a range of formats which                   what you are looking for on the site.
         is already proving a big hit.                                                     Despite the fact that we have complex and powerful
            You said you wanted access to more information, so visitors                 technology underlying our tools, we make sure our tools
         to our online services can now get details on fund prices,                     are always clear and simple for you to use.
         investment reviews, product literature and sales aids. You’ve                     We are proud of our technology solutions and our
         told us the most popular of these features is our extensive                    2007 eee awards for simple pensions, section 32 and
         funds centre.                                                                  annuities. But in this fast-moving market, there’s no room
            This has extensive information on our range of investment                   for complacency. We plan to develop our technology even
         opportunities, including monthly articles from our fund                        further and have ambitious plans for the future and we want
         managers, the latest news on our investments and details                       you to be at the heart of these developments. So please keep
         of our external investment partners.                                           telling us how we’re doing and what you want from us so that
            When it comes to retirement, you can run open market                        we can make sure we have solutions for the challenges and
         option annuity quotes online. You can instantly let your                       issues you face. You’ve played a big part in our success
         client know what annuity rate they’d get and, if you                           so we will carry on listening to you to shape our future plans.




         Making life easy
         W
                      e are delighted that Standard life has qualified                 alone, Standard Life returned 95,000 valuation requests to
                      for the triple e rating for pensions. Ensuring that              advisers via Client View. So why is the service so popular?
                      we deliver services that are easy to use and, most                  By entering a client’s name, policy number or National
                      importantly, fit with an adviser’s sales process                 Insurance number, an adviser can view their clients’ inform-
         is at the heart of every new development. For individual                      ation, including, for example, the initial investment in the
         pensions, we have a range of services available via a number                  bond, any withdrawals and current bond valuation. If a client
         of electronic platforms that include the adviserzone                          has other eligible policies with Standard Life, these will also
         (www.adviserzone.com) our dedicated extranet for interm-                      be displayed in the one window. Client View also has a facility
         ediaries, portals and the back office software systems. For a                 for advisers to produce a client report (in MS Word format)
         new piece of business, it is important that advisers can quote                that they can use as part of their client review process and
         and apply online where and when it suits them. With our                       store in their back-office software. This report contains both
         full range of individual quotations available online via the                  the aggregated valuations of all a client’s eligible policies and
         adviserzone and the main portals, getting a quotation is easy.                a more detailed breakdown of the funds under each policy.
            Advisers can also submit business electronically via the                      While using Client View on the adviserzone can provide
         Exchange and Assureweb portals. Our new business tracking                     very comprehensive client data, including valuations, on
         service available at an individual client level within Client                 occasions, when only a valuation is required, then using
         View on the adviserzone makes it easy for advisers to track                   back-office software to request these can equally save time.
         their new business to view the progress of the pension case.                     Currently, Standard Life have real-time valuations available
         A new business pipeline tracking service can also provide                     for bonds and pensions through a number of back-office
         advisers with details of their entire new business pipeline                   software systems – 1st Software, Bankhall Online , Exweb
         and those policies that have gone live in the last 30 days.                   Gold, Intelliflo, Officeweb, Plum Software, Positive Solutions,
         In addition, a CSV report is available for integration with                   Quay Software and WMS.
         advisers’ back-office systems containing policy details,                         The advantage of requesting real-time valuations via back-
         customer details, status and commission for live cases.                       office software is that staff in the adviser firm will be familiar
            Providing advisers with choices on how to transact new                     with the software from using it day in and day out.
         business is clearly important. However, while an adviser may                     In addition, the process to request a real-time valuation
         write a piece of new business only once, they will need                       from Standard Life will be the same as requesting the
         to service that business for the duration of the contract                     valuation from any other provider, for example, the same
         which could be 20 years or more, therefore getting access                     screens, the same icons to click on, all saving staff time by not
         to client information and valuations in a timely manner                       having to learn a wide range of different providers’ extranet
         is at least as important. Given this, Standard Life has focused               valuation services. What has been surprising is how long
         significant resource during the last number of years to enable                it has taken for adviser firms to start to use their back-office
         advisers to get client valuations (including individual                       software to request valuations. It may be that when it comes
         pensions) at their fingertips from the platform of their choice               to saving time and improving customer service, the
         either the adviserzone or through back-office software.                       availability of real-time valuation requests via back-office
            A large number of adviser firms are reviewing how they                     software is still one of the best kept secrets in the market.
         request valuations from providers and are starting to request                    Standard Life will continue to provide advisers with a
         valuations electronically. Client View, the aggregated valu-                  choice of how to request electronic quotations, submit
         ation service on the adviserzone confirms the increase in                     business online and access valuation services that save them
         adviser adoption of electronic valuation services. Last month                 time and help them add value to their customers.
P10-11   22/6/07      4:05 pm   Page 4




         10     E-COMMERCE          moneymarketing.co.uk • 28 June, 2007                                                                                                                        Q&A




         The real thing
         Nick Flynn
         Head of
         retirement
         services
         Origen




         Mike Hardy
         annuities
         manager
         Park Row




         Peter
         Magliocco
         associate
         regional
         director
         The Annuity
         Bureau




         W
                   hat benefits do real-time, guaranteed quotes –         As more life offices provide this, the better it will be as we will   they maximise their annuity income and dispense with the
                   tailored to specific client data such as age, sex,     then know who is offering the best rate and won’t be hit with         usual 50 per cent spouses benefit? Is the general rule that
                   fund amount, basic health details and annuity          any unexpected surprises when speaking to clients and they            escalation is too expensive relevant to everyone? All these
                   terms (for example, escalation, payment options,       have obtained a better quote by using comparison tables in            questions need to be fully considered which is where the
         death benefits) - give you that general indicative quotes        the paper and then going direct for actual quotes.                    tailored quotation fits in. The generic quotations help the
         do not?                                                          Magliocco: Part of the answer is given away in the question.          client to arrive at the tailored solution.
                                                                          Tailored to specific circumstances is exactly what an annuity
         Flynn: While the more accurate an illustration is the better,    quotation ultimately needs to provide. Real time quotes               If a provider took significantly longer to produce a quote,
         the main benefit of using real-time quotes is that there is no   require the client to determine how they propose to budget            would it discourage you from using them?
         need to request the actual quotations. This means you get        over the next twenty to thirty years. At this time there is often
         a quick and accurate comparison, then select the required        no longer the luxury of earned income or the ability to earn          Flynn: In every case, we go to all leading annuity providers.
         quote and print it. This saves a considerable amount of time     a salary arriving in the form of a pay cheque each month.             This is the only way we can guarantee that we have achieved
         and means you get don't receive 5 or more sets of literature.    What frequency of payment does the client require to pay for          the best annuity rate. If they are slow it is naturally frustrating
         Just think how many trees real time quotes will save. In         regular outgoings such as utility bills, council tax or other on-     but they still need to be considered. What’s a couple of extra
         addition, the quotes are as a accurate as your input, thus       going commitments; should the annuity income be paid                  days when you are talking about a product that will pay you
         reducing errors made by call centre staff.                       monthly quarterly or perhaps less frequently? What benefits           an income for your lifetime?
         Hardy: It allows us to speak with confidence to our clients      does the annuitant need to build into their specific annuity          Hardy: No but it certainly would not inspire me with
         about the rate we could achieve for them on the open market.     quotation? If their partner is financially independent should         confidence when placing the business as if they can’t do the
P10-11   22/6/07    4:06 pm    Page 5




            Q&A                                                                                                             28 June, 2007 • moneymarketing.co.uk                E-COMMERCE         11




         basics quickly, it would make me question the overall
         efficiency of their admin service. Annuities are very time-
         sensitive and a delay of just one day can mean the difference
         between a higher income and happy client or a lower rate
         and a potential complaint on your hands.
         Magliocco: Slow turnround times are endemic within
         financial services and lack of speed clearly does not endear
         anyone to transact business with organisations of this type.
         Annuity providers are generally able to turn around
         quotations within 48 hours. Delays can arise where
         competitive providers, as a result of their own success
         (high annuity rates), means that their service is affected
         across the entire annuity process, from quotation to issue
         of the policy document. Depending upon a client’s need
         to establish an income quickly will determine whether an
         annuity provider is discounted from a research. The client
         with time on their side may be quite prepared to suffer the
         inconvenience of a couple of weeks delay for a lifetime
         improvement in terms of income. It is worthwhile making
         the point that enhanced/impaired annuities can take longer
         to set up or provide a quotation. Again, a lack of speed can
         ultimately result in significantly improved terms.

         Would electronic tracking for annuities benefit your business?
         If so, why?

         Flynn: Access to the back-office system of annuity providers
         would help tracking and prevent the need to keep phoning
         the provider. Anything that increases productivity and
         decreases costs is most welcome. I am aware that a number
         of leading providers are working on this.
         Hardy: It would be of help but I don’t think it will change how
         we process annuity business. Annuity business will always
         be reliant on paper being pushed from one place to another
         because of the discharge forms. By receiving electronic
         tracking, it will stop us from doing the typical one or two
         telephone calls per case but essentially we will still follow
         the old process.
         Magliocco: All forms of information permitting access
         to tracking the progress of a case are beneficial. However,
         the annuity process is a time-sensitive and currently very
         labour-intensive exercise. In order to secure the movement
         of a pension fund from the ceding provider to the new
         annuity provider often involves the interaction of a human
         being negotiating the movement of funds within a required
         timeframe, the annuity deadline. Electronic tracking when
         there is commitment and action both from the new and the
         ceding insurance company would prove useful.

         Should the industry develop pre-populated online transfer
         forms which dynamically change the information requested
         depending on who the ceding provider is?

         Flynn: This would be great but why would a closed life office
         make it easier for us? To make this work it needs to be made
         compulsory for all life offices, with financial penalties
         incurred for failing to adopt realistic service standards or
         implement process improvements, such as a pre-populated
         form. The implementation of such a form would help                new entrants into the enhanced or impaired annuity market         Omo, which is difficult to understand from a consumer point
         streamline the transfer process and would not only assist         need to adopt this form if they are to secure significant new     of view. How can one Life office require a simple letter or
         advisers but consumers alike. Unfortunately, I think that         business levels.                                                  telephone call confirming requirements when another
         this concept is a long way off being implemented, if ever.        Hardy: Yes I do. I am really surprised that they haven’t          requires a multiple paged form fully completed and signed?
         We can but dream.                                                 designed this as an online portal and I would 100 per cent        There is no simple solution to this as it comes back to the
         Hardy: In an ideal world that would be great but being the        support this development. It would make our life so much          same scenario of an online transfer form implementation,
         cynic that I am, I’m bold enough to say that this will never      easier if we could submit this information via one source,        why would a ‘closed’ life office make it easier for us? If you
         happen with everyone agreeing to participate or agreeing          knowing that we would get quotes (if required) from               can’t implement something industry wide, it calls into
         to using the form.                                                everyone who wanted to quote for this business.                   question whether or not it is worth implementing at all.
         Magliocco: In reality, the conventional annuity market is made    Magliocco: Currently, TAB has adopted use of the common           As I have previously said, it would be great if things were
         up of six to eight competitive providers. Time would be much      quotation form. Where the technology exists to make use           easier for both advisers and consumers in this market,
         better spent putting pressure on holding insurers (ceding         of this form electronically the simplicity of using the form      however the validity of making this happen is anyone’s guess.
         companies) committing to releasing funds in a timely              to share medical information is adopted. Currently, this          Hardy: By employing the correct numbers of staff and by
         manner without imposing bureaucratic processes and                electronic sharing of information exists only with Tomorrow       placing the same importance on the outflow of money as the
         procedures. A good example of a provider who will release         (formerly GE Life ), via an XML link and then only for simply     inflow of new business. Unfortunately, it is the same old
         funds promptly without unnecessary paperwork is Standard          conditions such as diabetes or smoker rates. Our own              usual suspects who seem to cause these problems and as the
         Life, where a simple letter of instruction from the client will   in-house system allows users to share the medical                 majority of them are closed to new business already, they
         release the funds. Developing Standard Life’s approach,           questionnaire via a scan and e-mail image approach which          don't really care about what people think and give you the
         be it through an electronic format or via a simple letter         does make it easier to disseminate information quickly            impression, that they will send the funds when they are ready
         of instruction from a client, in my view is the way forward.      and efficiently to all the impaired/enhanced providers.           not when the client would like it done by.
                                                                                                                                             Magliocco: The adoption of commons forms across the
         Do you use the common quotation request form for                  How can providers speed up the process of releasing funds         industry would be a massive step forward in speeding up the
         annuity quotes developed by some of the major players             when an Omo is exercised?                                         time taken to effect the Omo. A common discharge form
         in the enhanced annuities market? Would this be better                                                                              could be made available at the time the client was advised
         delivered as an online portal to support quotations from          Flynn: First, many insurers do not want to speed the process      of the Omo from their existing company. In addition forms
         multiple providers?                                               up and many have no interest in improving their systems.          could become readily available on internet sites and
                                                                           So the first thing required is service standards that are         to accompany for example the FSA comparison tables.
         Flynn: We have used a version of the common enhanced              enforceable. Two weeks is plenty of time to disinvest funds       This would all add to the attraction and simplification
         medical questionnaire for many years. This does make it           and make the transfer, why do some companies take months?         of taking advantage of the Omo. Educating and training
         easier to get accurate quotations and should be the first         Is it a surprise to life offices that people make provision for   administration staff at the ceding office with regards
         of many standard processes in the fast expanding market.          their retirement via a pension, then at retirement want the       to the Omo process would also be money well spent for
         Making this available on line would work for some clients         benefits? There are currently vast differences between the        the consumer and again enhance the experience for the
         but most are comfortable with a paper based solution. Any         requirements of life offices on releasing funds under the         client in shopping around.
EComm_28.06.07_p12Aegon_ad   21/6/07   11:20 am   Page 1

				
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