PensionsApr 12 2023

Pensions advice taskforce to be reformed

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Pensions advice taskforce to be reformed
Pexels/Anna Tarazevich

The pensions advice taskforce is being reformed with the aim of raising the standards in the advice industry.

Speaking on a webinar organised by Pensions Playpen yesterday (April 11), Keith Richards, CEO of the Consumer Duty Alliance and former CEO of the Personal Finance Society, said the taskforce is in the early stages of reforming.

“[Our aim is] create an industry-wide representative body whose purpose is to raise advice standards and enhance consumer protection in complex areas of pensions advice.”

The taskforce was originally created in the aftermath of the British Steel closure, and brought together representatives from across the pensions industry.

Members of the original taskforce included former pensions minister Steve Webb, and representatives of the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator which sat on the steering group as independent technical observers.

It created a set of principles that underpin good financial advice and adviser behaviour that exceeds minimum requirements and is therefore more likely to deliver consistently good consumer outcomes.

Richards said this “gold standard” was not about the adviser, but for the consumer to be able to rely on and to empower them to make better-informed decisions.

“We decided this was one of the missing links for the consumer duty,” he said.

Margaret Snowdon will chair the taskforce.

She said she was “very pleased” to lead the group.

“The advice taskforce is brilliant because it pull[ed] out the key factors which showed that an adviser was ethical and went beyond the FCA regulation

“It is a shame that it dwindled, I was delighted when Keith was willing to resurrect it under his new banner.”