Nationwide is going head to head with high street banks by launching a new annuity service.
From today, Britons preparing to retire will be able to buy an annuity through branches of the building society.
It is offering plans from six major providers – Aviva, Canada Life, Just Retirement, Legal & General, LV=, and Partnership.
The new facility is available to people with a minimum pension pot of £18,000, which is lower than many other annuities services.
Until recently, most consumers took the annuity offered by their pension provider. But the introduction of the Open Market Option forced providers to tell people they could shop around.
Nationwide said its new service intends to help people tailor an annuity to their personal circumstances, to help maximise the income they could receive each year.
For example, customers are asked to disclose their lifestyle and medical histories – such as smoking and any medical conditions, including diabetes or high blood pressure – to see if they qualify for a higher retirement income from an enhanced annuity.
Stephen Lowe, group external affairs director at annuity provider Just Retirement, said the building society is going to be a “highly visible shop window” for annuities.
“It is targeting the thousands of clients who could benefit from professional support at this crucial stage of life,” he said.
“Nationwide is a highly trusted national financial services brand that will help drive high street competition and good practice.”
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