View more on these topics

MM Leader: Making sure Pica directory is a positive force

FCA-FSA-Skywards-700x450.jpg
FCA will reveal results of its annuity market investigations in the coming weeks

The launch of a user-friendly directory setting out how advisers and brokers can help the general public ensure they are getting the best out of their pension pot should be something to celebrate.

Unfortunately the Pension Income Choice Association’s new Pick-A website has been subject to a volley of criticism from advisers concerned that some of its wording is unfairly skewed to promote non-advised services at the expense of advisers.  

To its credit, Pica has been quick to acknowledge the criticism and says it will be making some changes. For instance it will remove its description that advice can be “more complex and time consuming”. The positive descriptions of non-advised guidance will also be toned down. Overblown phrases, such as the suggestion that non-advised brokers “put you in the driving seat” will be removed.

A glitch in the directory search also means certain advised and non-advised services are listed as costing nothing when investors are looking to make price comparisons.

Pica chairman and Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail blames the quality of data cleansing and cannot give an estimate as to when the problem will be fixed.

Price is only part of the consideration when deciding what do to with your pension pot but it is an important part and there should have been better checks on the quality of this data before launch.

Adviser concerns about non-advised bias are understandable and perhaps those who put together the directory should have been more alive to these sensitivities.

Worries about a lack of a level playing field between advice and guidance have been heightened by the regulator’s decision to ban commission for advised business through the RDR but leave non-advised firms to continue to be allowed to receive such payments.

The FCA will reveal the results of its annuity market investigations in the coming weeks. A ban on non-advised commission would be a welcome step alongside a greater focus on ensuring people are shopping around and not being funnelled into inferior annual income payments for life.

The Pica directory will hopefully become an important positive force to ensure more people are shopping around. But more work is required to ensure people can use the tool to make informed decisions about the type of intermediary they would like to deal with. 

Recommended

Technology-Buttons-Tech-Concept-Hand-700.jpg

FundsNetwork signs tech deal with Bravura

Fidelity FundsNetwork has selected technology supplier Bravura Solutions to power its new investment programme. Bravura technology will support FundsNetwork’s launch of new investment products and tax wrappers including brokerage and cash management. Money Marketing revealed in July the two firms were in discussions over a deal which would see Bravura provide administration services for FundsNetwork. […]

S Harper Attivo 700

IFA consolidator targets £1bn in assets by 2017

Adviser consolidator firm Attivo has set out plans to buy at least six firms this year. The firm currently has around £400m in client assets and runs £100m in its commercial property arm. It aims to reach £1bn in assets across the business by 2017 Previously known as Fountain Independent, the financial advice arm was rebranded […]

The Day of (B)reckoning

A period of exceptional uncertainty started last Friday for the UK, including a fierce leadership battle in a deeply divided Conservative party, the timing of the trigger of the EU’s Article 50, as well as a potential referendum in Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Click here to read the full article

IHT: What were you doing in 2009?

One of the best sources of new business is your existing clients and, if they are estate planning clients, regular reviews are needed because people’s inheritance tax (IHT) problems tend to only get worse. Now, not a lot of things remain at the same rate as in 2009. If we turn the clock back, it […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com