Auto-enrolment will present a huge opportunity for advisers but round table delegates say how advice will be paid for remains a moot point.
Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson said: “Every company in the land will have to put a scheme in place for its workers and the whole process is extremely complicated so they will need somebody to hold their hand.
“As an IFA, I would be gearing up to serve these small businesses by saying, well, I will take the hassle away from you by making sure you register your scheme properly and I will maintain it on an annual basis to make sure you are paying the right contributions.”
Advisers can position themselves in one of two ways, according to Legal & General wealth policy director Adrian Boulding.
He said: “Advisers can help employers comply at the lowest possible cost or help them build pensions into their remuneration package to help them recruit, retain and motivate staff. IFAs need to suss out what the employer wants and position themselves accordingly.”
On the remuneration side, Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail said: “There is a huge opportunity for IFAs and an unexploded bomb for employers. Employers and employees are not suddenly, magically going to get their heads around this. They are going to need help and that is good news for IFAs.
“The bad news for the employer is that someone is going to have to pay for that and the retail distribution review is going to make it a whole lot harder to do that.”
Aegon head of pensions management Rachel Vahey believes limited factoring should be allowed under the RDR. She said: “There is a problem in that the employer needs advice, the adviser needs to be paid and the member does not want to see their allocation rate obliterated. I think we should have another look at limited provider factoring.”
But the Conservatives intend to reduce corporation tax for small companies as soon as possible if they get elected, which Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson believes may help businesses underpin some of the cost of advice.