Lighthouse Group has been selected by the Money Advice Service to provide regulated financial advice to its staff in a contract running to March 2018.
MAS opened the tender up to a pool of around 3,500 firms on its retirement adviser directory. All of those firms could submit expressions of interest, with 50 doing so and Lighthouse ultimately being selected.
Through the contract, Lighthouse will offer every permanent member of MAS’s staff a complimentary financial review. It will also run day surgeries for individual meetings, seminars on key financial topics, such as pensions, mortgages and investments, and offer discount rates on regulated financial advice.
MAS says it decided to appoint an adviser for its staff following recommendations in the Financial Advice Market Review to encourage employers to help staff with their finances.
MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes says: “We are pleased to be working with Lighthouse and to give staff the opportunity to access the benefits that independent financial advice can provide. Regulated advice has an important role to play in ensuring that people make the right choices about their money – not only for our staff but for the wider public.”
Lighthouse chief executive Malcolm Streatfield adds: “We look forward to developing our relationship over the coming months and working closely with MAS employees, who themselves are dedicated to helping others, and to assisting them with their financial planning requirements.”
Streatfield says Lighthouse wants to increase its affinity partnerships throughout the UK.
MAS customer director John Penberthy-Smith says the contract was not dependent on a certain number of staff going on to take full regulated advice from Lighthouse.
He says: “We have given an estimate of what we think the uptake will be and Lighthouse has as well but there are no thresholds or targets.”
Asked if staff will get a discounted fee if they do decide to take full advice, Penberthy-Smith says: “Lighthouse will have a range of fees for different services and our staff can choose which of those services and fees they want to pay. Within the bid, all of the 50 firms who are quoted a variety different ways to cost the advice. We felt that Lighthouse’s was very open and transparent and we felt it was fair and at rates that would encourage uptake.”