Anthony Hilton: Pension provider looks set fair for a fine float


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The Independent Online

It would be no surprise if pensions provider Partnership says next week that it hopes to list on the stock market this side of the summer holidays.

And one could see why it thinks the time is right. The stock market is buoyant, and there has rarely been a greater focus on the need for private pension provision. This feels like a business whose time has come.

An insurance company decides, using fairly simple criteria, the level of annuity it will pay in return for the lump sum people have saved in their pension pot. How much you get depends on how long they think you will live, and on interest-rate levels..

Anyone who lives longer than expected does well financially while those who die early do badly. Partnership breaks away from this lazy mass-market formula and conducts a more sophisticated analysis which allows it to give a personalised price..

If Partnership thinks you are going to die young, you probably are. But it will pay you a larger pension, so at least the retirement you have is more comfortable, and your dependants will do better too. It regularly pays as much as 30 per cent more than you would get from a mainstream annuity provider.

Business is booming as word spreads, and growth rates are to die for, if that is an appropriate phrase. This is likely to continue as more people understand that it pays to shop around for an annuity, and because the market is growing anyway as baby-boomers retire.

If Partnership does decide to go public in the next few weeks, I would expect it to get an enthusiastic reception.