Speaking to International Adviser, Aviva’s client advice director, Andy Barton, explained that the move was in response to increased client demand.
“What’s driving this is the introduction of the pension freedoms last April. Since then, people have far more choice about what they do when they retire. But that choice also means there are more complex decisions that they have to make.”
The new service is intended to support the existing routes that people have to get advice: “Today our customers have access to advice through independent advisers and high street banks, they can come onto our website and talk to us over the phone. So this is really about giving that extra option for those people who haven’t got access to an adviser themselves.
“If a customer has access to an adviser already – fantastic, they should go and talk to them. That’s what we want them to do. But many of them don’t and they expect us to offer that service. So we are just responding to that need,” he said.
The plan is to have 20 advisers in place by the end of 2016, with each adviser responding to requests in their local area. They will only sell and provide information on Aviva products to Aviva customers.
“This will be a purely UK-based service for customers who have got their retirement concerns in the UK,” Barton said.
“It will be a small team to start with the see what the demand from customers actually is when it’s up and running.”