So now is the chance for the regulator to act. Not only must the track record of an adviser stay with them throughout their career, but the FCA must update its register quicker when an advice firm shuts down. Only then will consumers be able to keep track of the scoundrels that taint the reputations of others.
It’s no wonder retirees are shunning annuities
The 19 per cent rise in annuity rates since they hit rock bottom in September 2016 is something to cheer for those wanting a little stability with their retirement incomes.
That it has done nothing to help their sales increase is no great surprise though.
It has been suggested to me that it’s the media who are to blame for demonising the product, which is akin to blaming Homer for the bad reputation giant wooden horses got after he wrote about the Trojan war. Only it’s not that annuities are a tainted product, just that the payouts are so painfully low.
Tell someone that for £100,000 in a pension they’ll get little more than £5,000 a year and you’ll quickly see their face drop with horror.
Reality it may be, but in the current low rate environment hardly anyone wants to commit.
Lib Dems’ pensions proposal
One of the highlights of the party conference season so far has been the Liberal Democrat’s proposal to cap tax-free pension lump sums at £40,000. Can you imagine the jiggery-pokery from retirees that would go on if that bit of legislation came in?
It’s hard to believe we actually had a Lib Dem pensions minister a few years ago.
Thankfully, the party today stands almost zero chance of forming a government any time soon. And what little hope it had, probably disappeared the moment that policy was unveiled.
James Coney is money editor of The Times on Sunday