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Advisers call for ‘urgent clarity’ over consultancy charging

Steve Webb 480 LibDems DWP

Advisers and providers have called for “urgent clarity” on consultancy charging, with the results of the Government’s review of auto-enrolment advice fees not due until after the RDR’s implementation.

Pensions minister Steve Webb has written to Association of British Insurers director general Otto Thoreson requesting evidence on the way consultancy charges are being structured for group personal pensions.

The Department for Work and Pensions has not set a timescale for reviewing the evidence, although a decision on whether to ban consultancy charges for auto-enrolment is not expected until early next year.

Standard Life head of workplace strategy Jamie Jenkins says: “I think we urgently need to clarify where a consultancy charge is appropriate because at the moment we simply do not know what is and is not allowed.

“Advisers I have spoken to simply want to know what they can and cannot do so they can plan their business accordingly.”

Master Adviser senior partner Roy McLoughlin says: “It is absolutely ridiculous that the DWP has made this intervention at the 11th hour.

“Businesses are asking questions about auto-enrolment and for there to be so much confusion about a crucial area is not good news.

“Employers need clarity about how they can pay for advice as a matter of urgency.”

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