The FCA will take a year to conduct a full competition review of the market, taking us into 2015, and perilously close to a general election. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of customers will move through the current system into retirement this year alone, many of whom will receive poor value from the choices they make regarding their pensions. Although it is important to highlight that part of the market (the open market) is working well, major problems arise where people simply buy an annuity from the provider they have saved with.
We have suggested some quick wins to improve the situation and will be lobbying to make these changes while also continuing to support the need for people to seek at retirement advice.
In the meantime, all this focus on the market has generated some pretty negative headlines in the consumer press and on TV, which may alienate even more people from engaging with their financial matters and long-term planning.
Advisers are uniquely positioned to play the key role in stopping this happening.
Pensions technical director