AegonJan 3 2023

Aegon: ‘2022 was not a year many will want to remember’

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Aegon: ‘2022 was not a year many will want to remember’
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon

“A drive for greater scale through DC scheme consolidation, new trustee disclosure requirements and excluding performance fees from the auto-enrolment charge cap are all aimed at boosting illiquid investments.

“While no firm has yet used the FCA’s authorisation regime for long term asset funds, that didn’t stop the FCA consulting on making them available to retail investors.”

Regulatory focus

Elsewhere at the FCA, 2022 was dominated by the new consumer duty, with final rules and extended guidance published in July. 

Earlier this year, the regulator announced a delay of three months in the implementation however Cameron said this was quickly replaced by the “sting in the tail” earlier deadline of October for implementation plans.

Elsewhere, pension dashboards will continue their “slow but sure journey” to improving pension engagement.

“All in all, 2022 was not a year many will want to remember,” he said. “But there were some positives. It marked 10 years of auto-enrolment which, while there is more to do, has transformed workplace pensions. 

“For me, engaging with many advisers as we plan how to collaborate on the new consumer duty was another highlight.”

Cameron said the prospects for the new year are heavily influenced by 2022. 

“I expect in early 2023 to gain a better understanding of what’s on the priority list of the new pensions minister, Laura Trott.

“I do hope after significant progress in 2022, there will be no weakening of resolve to finally get pension dashboards up and running.”

Cameron said he would also like to see a roadmap for implementing the 2017 review of auto-enrolment albeit allowing for the cost of living crisis.

“A tailored equivalent for auto-enrolment for the self-employed is also long overdue,” he added.

“And I expect in 2023 to see progress in extending the full range of pension freedoms to members of trust-based schemes, hopefully learning from FCA experiences. 

“We’re promised a further consultation extending collective defined contribution schemes to multiple employers and perhaps more interestingly to a decumulation only proposition.”

Cameron's “top ask” of the Treasury would be to pave the way through the financial services and markets bill for regulated firms to be able to offer a more personalised form of guidance to complement the current strengths of the advice market. 

“This should be considered alongside ‘core investment advice’ proposals supporting customers investing excess cash in stocks and shares Isas.”

He added: “We face many headwinds as we enter 2023. But as always, in times of change and challenge, advisers offer more value than ever in helping navigate complexities and providing much needed reassurance.” 

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