MetLife chief: Govt guidance must consider new retirement products

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MetLife UK managing director Dominic Grinstead has called on the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise to do more to inform customers about new retirement income products.

Speaking to Money Marketing at the Labour party conference in Brighton yesterday, Grinstead said the Government-backed services must do more to make customers aware of choices outside of annuities or drawdown offerings.

He said: “We would like them to make sure that people contacting them over the phone, or face-to-face or through the website, are aware that their choice isn’t simply between annuities and drawdown, and that a new breed of innovative solutions are arriving.”

Grinstead said he wants to see the retirement space operating in a similar way to the mortgage market where, he argues, choice and competition are fostering innovation.

He said: “The more people are aware of the products out there, and the more people have got access to financial advice after that guidance, then the more likely we are going to have better outcomes for those people in the long run.”

As a result, the MetLife boss said he hopes the Treasury’s Financial Advice Market Review will provide fertile territory for the advice market to grow.

“There’s a real danger that people are overwhelmed by their choices at retirement.

“We believe advisers are very much part of the solution to that, and we support the FAMR, but we think there should be as much focus on how we can grow the advice sector after years of retraction.”

And Grinstead added that traditional advice training routes will need to return in order to produce the next generation of advisers.

He said: “Historically,  a lot of people have made a career in the industry from going into a direct salesforce, maybe at a bank assurer or a product provider, and then graduated into advice.

“We need some of those core routes to be brought back.”