View more on these topics

Alan Higham: How to build trust in at-retirement advice

A quality kitemark is the solution to at-retirement advice

Alan-Higham-MM-Peach.jpg

As the dust settles on the FCA annuity review announcements and all those column inches fulfil their ultimate destiny with cod’n’chips, what can advisers do to help the consumer?

I was asked live on Sky TV News how people can make these difficult decisions at retirement safely. I wanted to say go see an independent financial adviser but, as chairman of Annuity Direct, I would clearly have been seen as a self-serving spokesman.

I urged people to call The Pensions Advisory Service and I would encourage the pension experts who are reading this to consider volunteering some of their time to work with the organisation.

In our industry, we have to accept that we do not enjoy the trust of many consumers. Nearly 40 per cent of people would not use a financial adviser. 

Some of the blame is not really down to us – it was the banks’ salesmen etc – but that does not cut much ice with the consumer.

A good financial adviser should be respected and used without fear by the consumer at retirement, being competent in the following:

  • Help clients understand their needs for income and capital in retirement and set some clear goals
  • Consider whether now is the right time to buy a guaranteed annuity or whether other retirement income products would best meet those goals
  • If buying an annuity, then make sure it has the right protections for their family too
  • Look at the whole market when buying an annuity
  • Take the time to fully disclose medical information and get genuine guaranteed quotes, not estimated rates
  • Check the policy terms of existing pensions to make sure clients benefit from valuable legacy promises or are not caught out by penalties
  • Be clear about their charges
  • Execute the product purchase promptly and make sure clients are not exposed to market risk during the at-retirement process.

How can we convince the customer of these benefits?

We need a national quality kitemark for our service covering these areas. All the customer needs to know is whether the adviser has the quality kitemark.

Supporting TPAS will help too. A TPAS call with consumers will educate them far better than a 20-page insurance wake-up pack can ever do. TPAS needs our help too!

They cannot and do not give personal advice. Inevitably many people will want to know where they can find a good adviser. What better way than to say look for one with the quality badge?

To make this vision a reality, we need an organisation that is trusted by consumers with the expertise to administer and police this kitemark.

I would love to hear from anyone who would like to do this.

Alan Higham (alan.higham@annuitydirect.co.uk) is chairman of Annuity Direct 

Recommended

Mark-Carney-700x450.jpg
2

BoE governor Carney: Banker bonus reviews will begin this month

The first of two reviews into UK bonus rules will begin this month, Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said. The Financial Times reports Carney has written to Treasury committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, saying the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority will start consultations on reinforcing rules for recouping bankers’ bonuses. Later this year the PRA […]

Phil-Jeynes-MM-Peach-700.jpg
1

Phil Jeynes: Going for gold on partial payments

I was on a panel recently for a debate around protection at a national network. One of the questions posed was “do you see the current trend towards partial payments and severity based cover in the critical/serious Illness market continuing?”. The discussion that followed reminded me of a conversation I saw on TV the other […]

Message Stephen Old Mutual

Old Mutual’s Stephen Message looks to financials to combat tapering

Old Mutual UK Equity Income manager Stephen Message has almost 35 per cent of his £81.3m fund in financials in a bid to combat the effects of US tapering. Message has 34.9 per cent of the fund allocated to financials, mostly in the life sector. The average equity income fund has 18.9 per cent in financials. According […]

John-Cowan-700.jpg
3

Sesame to check advice quality with client calls

Sesame Bankhall Group is tightening compliance checks by hiring an in-house team to contact clients to check the quality of investment and mortgage advice given by members. The role requires candidate to have a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and a Certificate in Financial Planning or equivalent. The new hires will conduct evening calls with clients […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No Alan, you wouldn’t be seen as a self-serving spokesman, you would be seen as someone who constantly champions advice in the press but makes a pretty penny peddling non-advised annuities via your Annuity Direct outfit.

    Pot, kettle, black….

Leave a comment

Close

Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com