ASA bans Aviva pensions advertAviva advert made misleading claims, says ASA

23 December 2010

Advertising Standards Agency logo

A television advert for Aviva annuities has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. 

The advert, featuring actor Paul Whitehouse as a pensioner property hunting in France, claimed that customers could ‘get up to 20% more income with Aviva (when you retire).’

Aviva said their calculation was based on a retired person looking to convert their pension pot into an income by shopping around for an annuity. However, the ASA ruled the advert was misleading after Aviva failed to provide evidence to substantiate their ‘20% more income’ claim.

The ASA found that Aviva’s calculations failed to take into account closed-market annuities – believed to make up 45% of the annuities market. It also noted that Aviva’s research was based largely on rates for only three of its nine main open-market competitors. 

Learn more about annuities

If you have a defined contribution (DC) rather than a defined benefit (DB, or ‘final salary’ pension), it’s up to you to convert your money into a steady income when you retire. 

Around two thirds of people accept an annuity with their pension company, rather than switching in order to get a better deal.

Which? recommends you take Independent Financial Advice which looks into products from the whole market - known as the Open Market Option - rather than simply accepting an annuity from your existing pension company. For more information, see our online advice guide to annuities.

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