MGM and Stonehaven merge

By bringing the two brands together Retirement Advantage said it would be better positioned to meet adviser and client needs throughout retirement.

The company will support and promote the launch of the new brand through advertising and communications to advisers, while gearing up for the launch of a new retirement product – The Retirement Account – later in the year.

Chris Evans, chief executive of Retirement Advantage, said: "We have witnessed significant change in the market over the past year, and the dust has only just begun to settle.

"Expectations of retirement providers are rightly sky-high, and we want to meet these expectations by providing a broad and competitive retirement product range attractive to all retirees. That could be competitive annuities for anyone looking for a guarantee lifetime income, or innovative equity release products and features for people seeking to unlock cash from their property."

Evans said getting the right advice makes all the difference to peoples’ retirement outcomes, which is why the firm insists all customers take expert advice from financial advisers.

He added: "With greater numbers of people including their property as a means to fund retirement aspirations, and advisers adopting a holistic view of planning, drawing on all assets to fund financially demanding retirements, the combining of equity release and retirement income specialisms makes eminent sense.

"We are already innovating. In the past two months, we have launched money-back guaranteed annuities, which effectively addressed one of the main criticisms of annuities. We have also introduced a whole raft of new equity release features, including free valuations, flexible drawdown and higher loan-to-values."

Later in the year, Retirement Advantage will launch the Retirement Account, which will offer a new way for people to engage with their retirement planning.

Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at equity release adviser Bower Retirement Services, said: "Equity release is emerging as a major focus of innovation for retirement income providers and the MGM and Stonehaven announcement underlines how the market will develop over the coming years with providers realising they have to offer a wider range of solutions.

“Property wealth is already a major contributor to retirement planning with savers using equity release to improve pensions and that will continue as advisers and clients demand more innovation which enables them to use all their assets to provide the best possible retirement income.”