Personal Pension  

Nine out of 10 think providers will struggle post-April

Nine out of 10 think providers will struggle post-April

Concerns about the legacy issues of providers is one of the biggest worries facing advisers ahead of reforms coming on 6 April, a Metlife survey has shown.

A poll of 101 retirement specialist advisers by in December revealed they believe providers need to focus on simplifying products ahead of launching new ones, in order to support them ahead of the introduction of pensions flexibility on 6 April.

More than two thirds of advisers stated that simplifying products is the most effective way providers can support them, ahead of nearly half who said developing new products suitable for the changes should be prioritised.

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Around 68 per cent of advisers say they are worried about the ability of providers to adapt their existing products to the pensions flexibilities, while one in three were concerned about the lack of face-to-face contact with intermediaries by provider salesforces and lack of clarity on products.

Finally, 44 per cent were worried about service standards at providers, while 25 per cent were not convinced providers will have the capacity to process business efficiently.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director of Metlife UK, said: “Advisers and providers must work together to ensure that those who are at or near retirement get the best and most appropriate support in the new pensions landscape which includes focusing on service and customers.”

The study also revealed growing concern about the potential impact of the general election on pension flexibility – with 56 per cent of advisers saying they are worried how a change of government might impact the new rules.

Metlife’s poll comes just days after The Savings and Investments Policy project, a coalition of more than 50 firms and consumer groups, proposed development of an industry-wide and regulator-approved ‘kitemark’ for generic guidance.

emma.hughes@ft.com