Scottish Widows changes annuity application process amid coronavirus

Hannah Godfrey reports

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Scottish Widows has temporarily extended its quote guarantee period and changed how it accepts annuity applications to support advisers and customers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Scottish Widows is now allowing double the amount of time – 60 days, rather than the standard 30 days – for all necessary steps to be taken to secure an annuity rate, including monies transferred from ceding schemes.

The insurer and pension provider has also temporarily removed the need for wet signatures for clients who want to purchase an annuity. Under normal circumstance, Scottish Widows requests a copy of an original signature.

In place of a wet signature, the firm is accepting email confirmations from clients via their financial adviser.

Scottish Widows director of annuities Emma Watkins said: “It’s important that providers do what they can to help support advisers during these challenging times, and we have responded quickly to their needs by being one of the first to make changes to our quote guarantee period. Hopefully this, together with no need for a wet signature to purchase an annuity, makes things a little easier for them.”