Scottish Widows has launched new flexible features to its IFA drawdown product, the Retirement Account, as the life company continues its push for growth in the pensions market.
In February, Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Scottish Widows, announced it wants to hit £50 billion of financial planning and retirement assets by 2020 as part of a three year investment strategy. The IFA channel is the main route Scottish Widows aims to hit this pensions and advice goal.
As part of that push Scottish Widows has updated its drawdown product the Retirement Account.
From today, 16 April, the insurer has launched ‘drip-feed drawdown’ functionality to the Retirement Account which allows IFAs to take more flexible income for their clients.
Previously if an adviser’s client wanted his or her 25% tax free cash they had to take it all in one go, but the new functionality allows clients to take part of it or spread it out. Income payments with drip-feed drawdown can be made more annually, bi-annually, monthly or quarterly.
The drip-feed drawdown launch follows Scottish Widows launching a centralised retirement proposition tool last year, which was an IFA guide for drawdown and investments.
Then last month it launched four multi-asset funds targeting drawdown investors which aimed at smoothing out volatility – these funds are in addition to the 150 Scottish Widows insured funds which advisers can access through the Retirement Account in addition to being able to use the Fidelity platform to access other funds.
Catherine Stewart, head of individual propositions at Scottish Widows, said with these three launches, Scottish Widows has ‘a robust’ IFA offering.
‘With the combination of the thought leadership CRP, the funds that help in the drawdown piece and help sustain the pot for much longer, and now with our full range of income options in the Retirement Account we feel we have a really robust suite of drawdown options for advisers and their clients.’