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Just Retirement wants wake-up packs axed

Just Retirement has called for the retirement wake-up pack to be abolished.

The firm says it should be replaced by a clearer set of communications starting five years before retirement instead of three months. It has also called for an independent body to police providers’ communications, forcing business through the open market option in cases where it finds that communications are not up to scratch.

Independent research commissioned by the firm found consumers criticised wake-up packs for containing too much information, jargon and threatening legal disclaimers. Consumers also felt that there was not enough time to consider their decision.

Director of sales and marketing David Cooper says: “It is clear that the process is not fit for purpose. Regardless of the clarity of any communication, expecting customers to make very important decisions that close to their retirement with no previous guidance is unacceptable. We are exceptionally disappointed at the pace and nature of the industry’s progress on this matter.”

Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “Urging people to engage earlier is absolutely right. Most retirement packs are verging on the incomprehensible so some due attention would be very useful to make these more user-friendly.”

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  1. Pripr Preparation and Planning Prevent Particularly Poor Performance
    We already try and help clients plan 3 or 4 years before drawing pension benefits as adjusting their spending habits before retirement to reflect reduced income levels is more sensible than getting to a year or so beforehand and then finding out you need to go back to work! What is galling is when we have asked for up to date figures from companies (I’ll use an example of Royal Sun Alliance, now Phoenix) in say November when a client’s expected retirement date is the following June and they arrive about a week before his retirement date. We’ve had to plan ahead on all his other pension benefits and make decisions that then require adjustment due to THEIR tardeiness and not mine or the clients. The sooner the FSA swithses it’s TCF initiative to focus on provider failures and not IFAs where most of our time is lost because of provider incompetence, which the FSA appear unable or unwilling to Police, the better……………….. Complaint letters to provider’s either from the clients or us on these sort of issues are more costly to us and the client than just putting it down to experience and pointing this out to the FSA is just as pointless. The best action is vote with your feet and if the provider’s complaint procedures are this bad, DON’T advise clients to use them for anything new if they can’t sort out the old.

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