An increasing number of Independent Financial Advisors are probing potential annuitants about their medical history and/or current medical condition. According to data published by Just Retirement, 88% percent of those seeking pension annuities are being asked about their medical history. However, around 36% of those questioned (272 advisers) believe that a simplified medical questionnaire form would mean enhancements would be lower. But there is a need for balance between getting the best rates for the annuitant and simplicity as Nigel Barlow from the company explained…. “…advisers are keen to provide a comprehensive service and to obtain the best annuity deal for clients. It is vital we make it as simple as possible.”
Another pensions expert, Stuart Bayliss director at Directly Financial said that although it was a good sign that IFA’s wanted to get the full information on their clients in order to secure the best deal, the industry should not create shorter forms in order to make more money. With enhanced rates for annuities often being up to 40% greater than standard rates, it is vital that those offering advice find out the full medical conditions and history of all those seeking an annuity. However, with annuities being largely misunderstood by the layman, increasing the complexity of the application form or process could also be damaging.