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MP spells out auto-enrol role for IFAs

Former pensions minister and work and pensions committee member Oliver Heald says IFAs have an important role in helping employers through auto-enrolment.

At a committee hearing in January, pensions minister Steve Webb said the availability of “fairly standard” products for auto-enrolment would make expensive tailored advice for small firms and lower-earners unnecessary.

Last week, the work and pensions committee published a report into auto-enrolment which highlighted the importance of effective communication to the success of the reform.

The report did not consider independent advice but, speaking to Money Marketing, Conservative MP Heald says: “There is a very important role here for IFAs, in particular with employers. As we move through the roll-out, there will be employers who need quite a bit of help and I think IFAs can do that.

“The main communications issue will be with the firms choosing the model they are going to go for and they may well want the help of an IFA in deciding that.”

Webb told the committee in January that generic advice would be available through the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Regulator, adding it would be “crazy” if those auto-enrolled into pensions needed individual, expert financial advice.

Clarke Robinson managing director Steven Robison says: “There would not be enough IFAs to advise all individuals but I am already advising firms so there is definitely a market there.”

Last year, committee chair Ann Begg raised concerns over misselling under auto-enrolment if there is not clarity over the future of the flat-rate state pension.

Heald says: “The sooner we get clarity the better. The Government is due to come out with a proposal soon and it is important that it does.”

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Comments

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  1. Isn’t it amazing how MPs know what IFAs should be doing when they don’t even know what the FSA is doing.
    They sit in their Palace at Westminster looking out at the world and making benign statements. I wish some of them would take their attitudes to their logical conclusion and try walking on the Thames.

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