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Compass supports AllianceBernsteins launch of their 'Retirement Bridge' drawdown product


Most savers in Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes buy an annuity when they retire.  But with changes to life expectancy is there a better way to deliver an income in retirement?

Due to the recent demise of the Defined Benefit (final salary) pension, a significant amount of activity is taking place within the UK in order to support and maximise individuals retirement income, including; products launched as alternatives e.g. Variable Annuities / Third Way Retirement products and the establishment of NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) which is designed to meet the needs of low-to-moderate earners.

AllianceBerstein Wealth Management based in the UK supports clients through the competing demands of investment efficiency and personal aspiration.  To this end a more cost effective drawdown product 'Retirement Bridge' was designed and launched in April 2012 to provide an active income retirement provision, increasing in-line with investment performance.

Compass Research provided the vital consumer insight to support the development of this new Retirement Bridge by undertaking a series of depth interviews (with recent Annuity purchasers) and group discussions (prospective retirees).  The objectives were to better understand what DC members thought about securing a retirement income and how their needs could be met, alongside identifying the opportunity for a new mass market drawdown proposition 'Retirement Bridge' within a target date structure that could be purchased from 55 years onwards and in summary offers:

  • Higher potential for continued growth after pension maturity
  • A drawdown facility that has the flexibility to access income as and when desired
  • Opportunity to postpone the conversion to an Annuity up to age 75 years, thus enabling the customer to choose an optimum moment in time to which to fix their future income
  • An overall income level to be equal or superior to a joint life investment
  • A significantly lower cost/pricing structure than similar competitive products
Our significant experience within financial services enabled us to ensure we positioned the complex elements  of pensions, annuities and the Retirement Bridge concept to respondents in an easy to understand format, and to also discuss the product nuances confidently with the internal AllianceBerstein team.

"We engaged with Compass Research due to the knowledge, enthusiasm and professionalism Sue and Fran demonstrated in our tendering process.  This carried through in the planning, execution and analysis of the research we were conducting.  Compass really focused on on our needs and were crucial in building a research program which was dealing with a complex area.  Sue and Fran offered both insight and advice on how to get the most reliable and objective research data and as such, Compass Research are a firm we would recommend and use again.
David Porter, Director - Strategic Partners, AllianceBernstein


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