Age Partnership has launched a service to gather member information for schemes exploring a medically underwritten bulk annuity deal.
The offering - Age Partnership Underwriting Services (APUS) - will rival MorganAsh, which has been the main player in the market, and help trustees run competitive tendering exercises.
APUS will obtain health and lifestyle information on members and their dependents, which will then be passed to insurers to quote on.
The data will allow the insurers to assess longevity risk, which could reduce the cost of the deal - research from the Pensions Institute found early transactions saved 10%.
APUS head Adam Carnall said: "One of the potential areas for major growth is the addition of health and lifestyle underwriting as part of the bulk purchase annuities process, but what stood out for us is the lack of options scheme trustees had when looking for a partner to engage with their members to collect this information."
The service has been backed by the two main providers of underwritten bulk annuities, Partnership and Just Retirement. The two firms announced their intention to merge after seeing their individual annuity business shrink following the 2014 Budget.
Just Retirement director of defined benefit (DB) solutions Tim Coulson said the announcement was good news for employee benefit consultants, their clients and providers.
He said: "Wider choice and competition should encourage further innovation in this exciting and fast growing segment."
His counterpart at Partnership Costas Yiasoimi added: "Age Partnership is a welcome addition to the fast growing medically underwritten bulk annuity market."
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