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ABI advice ruling should benefit advisers

The national accounts director for technology provider Selectapension, said the ABI’s announcement that all members will commit to offering a conversation for customers about their retirement options, either with the provider or an impartial advice service, would help advisers demonstrate their importance to clients.

He said: “The ABI has presented a real chance for advisers to demonstrate the value of their at-retirement consultancy to clients.

“In a climate of poor annuity rates and increasing attention being paid to drawdown, clients need professional financial advice more than ever before to navigate their way around retirement options.”

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He added: “Advisers need to use opportunities such as this to speak to clients about their pensions. With the time constraints that financial advisers are under, it is vital for them to have up-to-the-minute investment information available.

“Technology enables advisers to stay on top of their clients’ retirement planning, and ensures they can recommend and review the best possible options to maximise their pension pots.”

This followed the launch last week of the ABI’s reforms, which include new standards for pension provision. The reforms also stated that consumers had a right to a conversation at retirement about their pension options.

What advisers want: Iress poll

Earlier in March, management system supplier Iress conducted a poll among advisers using its service to ask what changes they wanted to see in the annuity markets. The Iress poll found:

34% want product providers to give consumers an overview of the best rates

28% want the industry to move towards earlier education of at-retirement planning

31% would like consumers to have full responsibility for understanding how to compare rates

64% welcomed the FCA’s thematic review in February.

Adviser View

Raj Shah, principal of Sheffield-based Blue Wealth Management, said: “It’s very important people seek advice on this subject. I have seen clients who think the only option is to go with whatever retirement option their exisiting provider is offering them, and their outcomes would be very different without the benefit of advice.”