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Ex-ABI director Maggie Craig to head up FCA’s guidance work

The FCA has selected former Association of British Insurers director of conduct regulation Maggie Craig to head up its work on the at-retirement guidance service announced in the Budget.

Money Marketing revealed in January Craig had joined the FCA as an adviser, after leaving the ABI in October.

In last month’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne stunned the pensions industry when he announced people would be able to take their entire pension pot as cash from age 55 from next April.

Alongside the reforms, Osborne said members of defined contribution schemes “will be offered free, impartial, face-to-face advice” at retirement from April 2015.

A consultation document published alongside the Budget confirms the service will provide guidance, not advice.

It says the FCA will be tasked with developing a set of standards for the guidance to ensure it is impartial and of high quality.

Earlier this week the Treasury select committee quizzed the regulator on the potential confusion for consumers between guidance and advice.

A spokesman for the FCA confirmed Craig is to lead the project.

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. goodness gracious 4th April 2014 at 11:38 am

    Maggie, good luck with this project. Please ensure that your specifications include full fact finding, robust, generic advice, with a short report sent to every retiree, delivered by people with level 4 minimum qualifications.
    A universal electronic fact find should be recommended, taking all clients assets/liabilities into account. Looking at retirees state income, circumstances, potential tax situation, wishes and desires as well as risk attitude before any guidance is given.
    This process, combined with report writing (this can be mainly phrase driven) probable will take 6 hours per retiree.
    It can only be delivered to your specifications if there is sufficient available to pay the Guides, as well as travel expenses. Can IFAs do it? Of course, but who will pay for the training, or, if an outside agency is responsible, how do you ensure independence?

  2. @ GG – 6 hours at £150 p/h with 500,000 people retiring annually would cost £450 million a year to the taxpayer. I doubt the government would go for that proposal in the current climate. You would need to provide it for £30 p/h to get below £100 million a year.

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