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Aviva steps up vetting of advisers

Aviva is tightening up its vetting system of IFAs placing group personal pension business in a bid to improve persistency.

The firm, which is one of the few providers that still pays initial commission on GPPs, says it is underwriting each scheme individually to assess the quality of the advisers and their business to ensure good retention rates.

Marketing director David Barral says this assessment process may become more sophisticated in the future to cut out advisers prone to churning business.

Barral says: “We are underwriting each GPP scheme individually to consider the quality of the IFA and their business. We are really taking people on the basis of their track record.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “I would expect all life offices to adopt a similar approach. They have been caught out so much in the past with IFAs churning business.”

Barral argues that employers will not be keen to pay fees on top of funding a pension scheme in the current climate, which is why the firm remains committed to initial commission.

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