Colonial First State (CFS) has announced more enhancements to its platforms to help advisers spend less time on back-office work and more time in front of their clients.

CFS General Manager Product & Investments, Peter Chun, said the improvements responded directly to adviser feedback: “We spend a lot of time listening to what advisers need and then we work to deliver it.”

FirstChoice has improved its pension payment reset facility, including new adviser self-service screens, updated insight screens, new help text, and new payment forms. CFS also enhanced the e-post service, made it easier for super members to update beneficiary details, and developed better client review reporting.

FirstWrap enhancements include improved usability and navigation for advisers that make it easier to open a new account online. CFS has removed some unnecessary steps for advisers in the account-opening process to save them time.

The enhancements follow the major addition of CommInsure and Challenger annuities via the FirstChoice and FirstWrap platforms last year, which Investment Trends1 recognised as the Best New Functionality in platforms during 2015.

“No other platform offers retirees and their advisers such easy and convenient access to the leading term and lifetime annuities for retirement planning,” Mr Chun said.

Investment Trends’ 2015 Retirement Planner Report2 revealed 41 per cent of advisers used annuities in retirement portfolios in 2015, up from 32 per cent in 2013. It also reported 62 per cent of advisers intend to use annuities in 2016.

“Advisers are increasingly accepting the value of blending annuities and account- based pensions in a retirement planning portfolio as a way to provide longer-term income to address growing issues such as longevity risk and sequencing risk,” Mr Chun said.

Source: Colonial First State

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