Opinion  

Can we try evidence-based practice in financial services?

Gareth James

Gareth James

What the proposed rules do seem to ignore is that the wider course of medication available to non-advised consumers also includes support obtained from sources other than Pension Wise.

With my customer head on I recently dialled in to an interactive webinar offered by my own auto-enrolment pension provider and found the content excellent – not a substitute for advice, but I would expect the information provided to be on a par with the guidance offered through Pension Wise, which, it is worth mentioning, was promoted many times throughout the webinar.

When the Financial Conduct Authority is considering how prescriptive these rules are, particularly around proposals like imposing delays in accessing pensions if savers opt out of the government guidance, it is important they remember that many savers either will not need external support, or will have obtained it through other sources.

Coming back to the medical analogy, the government is saying people should get a second dose of the Covid vaccine. But, if they have already received pensions guidance from one source, should people really be made to wait to access their pension because they do not want a second dose of guidance from Pension Wise?

Gareth James is head of policy at AJ Bell