We just had our reminder about non-completion of Covid-19/Brexit ‘survey’ and the threat of £1,000 fine from the Financial Conduct Authority.
It asks us questions such as: “What effect do you think Covid/Brexit will have?”
Given that the current government has no idea of what is going to happen, what possible benefit is there to answering questions and surveys using these tactics?
We appear to have a regulator who will not address the crooks and continues to let unregulated products flourish within self-invested personal pensions, with the answer being to simply increase fees for the good in the industry.
While some IFAs must take some of the blame for this, increases of 31 per cent in professional indemnity and 53 per cent in Financial Ombudsman Service levies are simply unsustainable.
Finally, we have to produce suitability reports which, according to the FCA, need to be focused and brief. Oh, and an ombudsman who is completely out of touch.
Name and address supplied
The decumulation phase
In reference to your article ‘Warning sounded as 42 per cent of pensions raided at “unsustainable” levels’ (Sep 30). What most financial advice misses is that retirees’ need for pension income declines in line with desire to spend money as people get older.
I am purposely ignoring the cost of care because the majority of people who have to pay for it themselves intensely dislike it and often do not spend their money, and struggle on to ensure they preserve their kids’ inheritance.
Another aspect that is often overlooked is that working should be viewed as the accumulation phase of life, and retirement the decumulation phase. Of course, few know their life expectancy but decumulation must nevertheless be the goal.
Also, many current early retirees have a number of pension arrangements and choose to use individual pension pots as bridges and expect to pillage and dwindle before moving on to the next.
Future generations may not be so lucky, I accept, but in the statistics quoted in the article, how many raided pots fall into the 42 per cent through careful planning and not through poor management or advice?
So in summary, let common sense prevail, accept life’s twists and turns and hope to die having just spent one’s last few quid.
Former financial adviser
Regarding the TSB branch closures (‘TSB to axe 900 jobs as branches set for closure’, Oct 1). As part of the 6 per cent that will now not be within 20 minutes of a TSB branch, I along with many others locally were dismayed to see our very small branch is on the list of closures.
And further shocked to find Argyll will now, I think, only have one branch in Oban, at the north of Argyll.