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Retirement planning requires specialisation

Off the back of its healthy half-yearly financial results, Challenger Limited has praised the role of advisers in raising the profile of annuity products and called on them to specialise in this area.

“Financial advisers play a really important rolle for retirees generally,” Challenger managing director and chief executive Brian Benari told ifa. “The message and value-add that advisers can bring is really material in respect to retirement planning.”

However, Benari said that while advisers have been instrumental in raising the profile of annuity services in an ageing society, specific training and skills are required in this space.

“There needs to be more specialisation,” he said. “Retirement income planning requires a different approach.

“People that are retiring or in aged care have certain needs and wants and advisers need to be trained to be aware of these.”

Challenger is currently in negotiations with the University of New South Wales to develop a formal qualification for advisers looking to specialise in retirement income planning, he said.

The company’s half-yearly results – which saw a normalised half-year net profit after tax of $149 million, an increase of 17 per cent on the prior corresponding period according to a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange – can partly be attributed to a strong relationship between Challenger and advisers, Benari said.

“We partner with advisers in building products and in thought leadership on retirement income,” he said. “Ultimately advisers can see we are helping to help them take advantage of the opportunities of the retirement income market.”