Norwich Union has announced that it is working to broaden its retirement solutions range with a pilot which will offer customers hassle-free ways to release funds from their homes.

Customers over-55s will have the choice of an ‘Assisted Move’ package whereby Norwich Union will manage all aspects of their house sale for them. Or if the customer requires an immediate solution they can chose the ‘Optional Fund Release’ service which would see the company arrange a speedy purchase for the customer on completely transparent and market-leading terms.

In both cases, clients would also be offered financial advice, to help them achieve their financial goals in retirement, thus optimizing the use of their released funds.

It is estimated that customers would be able to receive their funds in as little as 12 weeks through the Assisted Move option, or around four weeks via the Optional Fund Release route. On the open market, it currently takes around four to eight months for people to sell their house and around 900,000 UK homeowners fail to sell their properties each year.

The pilot is being targeted at the West Midlands area and will run for six months initially.

Anthony Rafferty, head of marketing for post-retirement business at Norwich Union, said: The so-called ‘pensions crisis’ has meant there is a need to find alternative solutions for many people to fund their retirement. Traditionally, equity release has been seen as one such solution, particularly as many older people enjoy the comfort that comes with staying in their own home.

In conjunction with our existing pensions, investments and equity release ranges, these schemes will offer our customers an even wider portfolio of retirement solutions to meet their ever-changing needs.