Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA tells providers to book Pension Wise sessions for savers

For example, there could be a cooling off period. This could include a minimum time period that savers must wait before providers can accept confirmation of their decision to opt out of taking guidance. 

But this poses the risk that those who do take up the guidance may do so unwillingly without being engaged in the process and then may cancel or simply not attend the appointment.

Another option could be requiring the saver to confirm their decision to opt out through a separate communication, giving them time to reflect on their decision.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, supported the FCA’s measures as another way to help protect consumers.

Cameron said: “Ideally, individuals would seek professional financial advice on such an important decision which could impact their financial position throughout retirement. 

“For those who are unwilling to do so, or feel the costs are prohibitive, guidance is a very valuable fall back and Pension Wise is free to those approaching retirement, as it’s funded by the industry. 

“We support measures to strengthen the encouragement or ‘nudges’ to make a Pension Wise appointment so as many as possible use their valuable service, which can also help protect them against falling foul of pension scams. 

“But this needs to remain voluntary as going further and making an appointment compulsory would effectively bar individuals from accessing their own pension funds. Alongside Pension Wise, it’s important that pension providers can also offer individuals a range of guidance services personalised to their needs throughout their pension journey.”   

amy.austin@ft.com

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