Press release

LV= welcomes new single public financial guidance body

Insurer responds to HM Treasury setting up new public body offering debt advice, money and pensions guidance

John Perks, Managing Director of Life and Pensions at LV=, said: "LV= welcomes the introduction of a merged, single money and pensions guidance body as this will help people wishing to explore a range of issues at retirement such as debt and equity release.

“We believe there should be a holistic approach to retirement income planning, taking into account the customer’s assets and exploring all the options available to them. All consumers approaching retirement need help navigating the options and choices available to them and guidance can be a good route to advice for those that need it. We therefore believe guidance for the over 55s should be mandatory for those that don't take advice.

“To ensure consumers get the most benefit from guidance, it’s essential that Government and industry work together to make them aware of the new body and the options available to them in retirement.”

LV= research has found:

  • As an estimate, nearly half a million [1] people a year retire each year without taking financial advice.
  • Of those within five years of retirement, four in ten (41%) don’t plan to take any advice or guidance at all.
  • Only one in five (21%) will take regulated financial advice, while just 14% will use Pension Wise – a similar percentage to those who will speak to friends and family (13%) or their existing pension provider (16%).
  • Nearly a quarter (22%) said they wouldn’t take advice because free guidance is sufficient, highlighting the need for quality guidance [2]
  • Yet typically someone who takes advice and shops around for an annuity receives a 23% increase in retirement income [3]


Notes to editors: 

In 2015, LV= acquired a majority stake in Wealth Wizards Limited, the UK based automated advice experts, to support the development of digital regulated advice solutions. LV= then launched Retirement Wizard, powered by Wealth Wizards technology and an automated advice know-how, in 2015 as part of its aim to make financial advice affordable and accessible to the mass market.

Retirement Wizard is the UK’s first, and only, online financial advice service that provides fully regulated retirement advice, at an affordable cost. People approaching retirement are able to get a personalised, regulated retirement advice report for just £199, with personal recommendations on the specific products they should purchase from their retirement savings. For an additional fee of £499, LV= will make all the necessary arrangements and set up their retirement plan.


[1] According to ONS 2012 data, 600,000 people retire in the UK each year. Opinium December 2015 consumer research showed 78% of UK people over 55 who have not yet retired do not plan to take financial advice equating to 468,000 people.

[2] Opinium March 2016 research:1,572 online interviews with UK adults aged 50 and over, weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience.

[3] 80% of people shopping around for an annuity could have got a better deal (source FCA – Feb 2014) and there is an average 23% difference between worst and best annuity quote (analysis of MAS survey Apr 2015).

About LV=

LV= employs over 6,000 people and serves over 5.8 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We are currently the UK's number one brand for Insurance and Investments, according to the 2015 YouGov Brand Index Buzz Rankings.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

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