Pica calls for data as works begins on adviser directory
Online directory complements recent reforms in how annuities are sold, association claims.
The Pensions Income Choice Association has called for information to help with the development of a directory of intermediaries that can help consumers to effectively utilise the open market option for annuities.
Investors would access the directory from a single website and be able to search a database of retirement advisers, annuity brokers and manufacturers according to pre-selected criteria, helping them to find an adviser in their local area.
In April Pica revealed its plans to launch the directory, which Stephen Lowe, a member of Pica and group external affairs for Just Retirement, said it hoped to launch within six months.
Mr Lowe said that advisers may have to pay a small fee to be on this guide, “a bit like if they wanted to feature in the Yellow Pages”.
He added that the register could form part of a website or be a website in its own right and would feature in the Money Advice Service’s new shopping around guide.
According to Pica, the directory complements recent reforms in how annuities are sold directly to individuals by pension companies.
Pica claims these reforms come partly as a result of a three-year campaign by the association, resulting in the publication of a mandatory code of conduct from the Association of British Insurers.
Tom McPhail, chairman of the association, said the ABI’s code of conduct will encourage investors to shop around at retirement.
“We are particularly interested to hear from organisations that have experience at developing and/or running consumer facing directory services, preferably within the financial services industry.
“We are also interested to hear from any financial advisers, annuity brokers or manufacturers with a consumer-facing capability who may have any interest or input to offer regarding the development of the directory.”
The directory site is being developed in consultation with industry trade bodies, public service organisations such as the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Treasury and other stakeholders.