22 Oct 2013

Wellington company to offer new style annuities to retirees

2:55 pm on 22 October 2013

The former head of ACC and investment company AXA is setting up an annuity company aimed at retiring KiwiSaver account holders.

Over the next 15 years, tens of billions of dollars is expected to be released from KiwiSaver accounts as around half a million people reach retirement.

Ralph Stewart says his Wellington-based company aims to manage retirees' Kiwisaver lump sums by offering a combined product of asset management and insurance.

Mr Stewart says annuity products, providing a long-term income, are the second phase of retirement, after the accumulation phase of Kiwisaver.

He says the new products differ from previous, more restrictive annuities offered by insurance companies.

"What's happened, particularly in America and Japan, is innovations whereby the person who takes out the new-style annuity can have their capital returned to them whenever they'd like it."

He says it might be used for a medical event or a child's wedding.

He says retirees can have up to 20% of their capital back.

Mr Stewart says his company is still in the development phase.