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Pension freedoms see bosses encouraging DB transfers

Pension freedoms see bosses encouraging DB transfers

More than 90 per cent of UK financial advisers have viewed pension freedoms as their single largest business development opportunity, research has claimed.

Vanguard polled 74 advisers at its annual Investment Symposium in London, and found that 68 per cent of clients come to them specifically to address retirement income planning.

Neil Cowell, head of UK retail sales for Vanguard Asset Management, said financial advisers faced great challenges and tremendous opportunities.

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The survey also revealed the top challenges for UK financial advisers in 2016, with regulation cited by 31 per cent, client acquisition and retention concerning 18 per cent, and managing client expectations at 16 per cent.


Greatest challenge



Client acquisition and retention


Managing client expectations


Defining your value proposition to clients


Increasing fiduciary responsibilities


Market volatility


Keeping up to date with new products


Keeping up to date with education


However, Wingate Financial Planning director Alistair Cunningham commented that most of the changes around pensions freedoms were redundant for prudent investors.

“Withdrawals should be restricted for sustainability, and the reduction in annual allowances that come with flexi access drawdown restrict opportunities rather than increase them”, Mr Cunningham said.

“The death benefit improvements are interesting, but will affect few people – there’s also so much damage done to the reputation of pensions by government tinkering for more than a decade, I don’t think any of us expect the rules to remain as they are.”

Adviser view

Simon Webster, managing director of Kent-based Facts and Figures Financial Planners, added: “In general, pension freedom changes are a great opportunity because people now have choice and they need advice on those choices.

“For many, the answer may well be drawdown rather than being paid once, and advisers could well acquire more funds giving long-term value to adviser businesses.”