Lighthouse chief executive Malcolm Streatfield has criticised the Government’s plans to provide free at-retirement guidance, saying the service should offer “full advice or nothing”.
Chancellor George Osborne set out new pension freedoms in the Budget which will allow people aged 55 or over to take their entire pension pot as cash from next April.
The reforms will be backed by what Osborne described as “free, impartial, face-to-face advice” for those at-retirement, later clarified as guidance rather than advice. The Treasury has provided £20m in funding to launch the guidance service.
Speaking at a Distribution Technology event in London yesterday, Streatfield said: “My view on the Chancellor’s announcements is clients have now got an even bigger decision to make than they did before, and in my view it is full advice or nothing.
“Clients should be encouraged to take proper regulated financial advice because the consequences if they get it wrong are huge. So I am not a proponent of giving guidance and going out with £20m. That was an unnecessary part of the Budget announcement and only added confusion.”