Pension shake-up gives Royal London a lift

Life and pensions group Royal London has posted an 11 per cent jump in operating profits after it enjoyed a sharp rise in new business.

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The mutual, which employs more than 1,000 people at its Scottish operations, said full-year 2015 profits before exceptional items had risen to £244 million as it benefited from reforms to the UK pensions market.

Over-55s no longer need to use their pension pots to purchase an annuity, which provides a fixed income for life, and have instead been using some of their life savings to buy other pension products or investment funds.

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The results, for the 12 months to 31 December, revealed that new life and pensions business had leapt by 40 per cent to just over £6.77 billion. Group funds under management lifted 3 per cent to £84.5bn.

Phil Loney, group chief executive of Royal London, said: “Our strategy continues to produce pleasing results and over the last four years Royal London has doubled its life and pension sales and has nearly doubled assets under management.

“The last year saw a record breaking trading performance which brought with it a healthy increase in operating profit.

“New business growth was particularly strong, with sales of group pensions and income drawdown products going from strength to strength. The fourth quarter of the year saw pension sales reach new highs, which is particularly satisfying as it follows on from the announcement that we will in future be sharing part of our profits with pension customers through our unique ProfitShare arrangement.”