Firing line  

‘The key challenge for Sipp and Ssas providers is bad publicity’

She explains: “This is the last year clients will be able to utilise and carry forward allowances that were £40,000.

“So there is a lot of focus on that, and making sure we have got all the appropriate calculators to check everything.”

She adds: “There is also a lot of focus on advice on pensions and we have very thorough compliance, that everything that’s done is checked, up-to-date and the guidance is appropriate.”

Another area that requires improvement is engagement.

She explains: “If you look into the Sipp and Ssas world, people engage, but in the pensions industry engagement is a key issue.

“So while the pensions dashboard will add some value for those who already engage with their pot, for those that don’t I worry it won’t make much difference.”

But it is not engagement alone that threatens the future success of the pensions dashboard.

She notes: “The costs surrounding implementing the pensions dashboard, for probably the majority of firms, may not equal the value the clients are getting and that is a concern because it is going to be expensive, and it is expected to be funded by industry.”

Ms Trott says transfers out of occupational pension schemes can be appropriate, but only if members receive good advice.

She says: “I think initial advice and ongoing advice is key to ensuring consumers understand what they are doing, where they are going and what they are putting in is appropriate; providers can only do so much.

“The same is true in the Sipp and Ssas world, this is where good advice makes all the difference; a good Sipp is an advised Sipp.”

While a lot of people choose Sipps, there are still too many who do not necessarily understand the pension rules, she says.

“Some providers will refuse to take excess contributions, some will assume they have calculated their carry forward, but the majority will at least ask.

“But if you don’t understand carry forward, and if you don’t understand the tapered annual allowance, you could end up with significant tax charges.

“So the key is to have good advice.”

Victoria Ticha is features writer at Financial Adviser and FTAdviser

Click here to watch FTAdviser's recent video interview with Claire Trott.