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National IFA supports MP calls for default guidance

LEBC public policy director Kay Ingram

National advice firm LEBC is backing an amendment to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill to give retirees default guidance as MPs vote on the legislation today.

In December 2017 the Work and Pensions Select Committee said the Government should ban pension cold calling and introduce default guidance through the bill.

On 6 March the Government tabled amendments to include these recommendations and pensions minister Guy Opperman has supported the idea of default guidance.

LEBC backs the select committee amendment, which requires pension providers to automatically refer retirees to the guidance service before they choose how to take their retirement funds.

It believes this will help more consumers understand all the options they have at retirement and to shop around for value for money.

LEBC director of public policy Kay Ingram says: “The FCA review of retirement outcomes showed that too few consumers shop around at retirement and consequently miss out on thousands of pounds of retirement income over their lifetime.

“We know from our experience of advising over 25,000 retirees per year that up to 70 per cent of them can qualify for an enhanced guaranteed lifetime income, once all of their personal circumstances are taken into account.

“We gave evidence to the select committee urging that all retirees should be referred to the guidance service, unless they have already taken regulated independent advice.”



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  1. Guidance? I think a better call is for advisers to demonstrate the suitability of advice and to be placed on regional panels.

    Guidance doesn’t stop individuals being steered into bad advice.

    For example, a national firm that uses a matrix to gather details about other income and assets a client may have, but to then wholly disregard these other sources of income if the critical yield is too high?

    Doesn’t very seem holistic to me, doesn’t provide a suitable client outcome.

    After all, bad advice to remain is equally as damaging as bad advice to transfer, and a piece of advice where the decision is limited to one sole factor is quite frankly scary….what use would guidance be to these members if guided into an advice process that isn’t fit for purpose?

    Firms should:

    1) Have to submit advice process to FCA to gain permissions in first place – after all any idiot can be couched to pass an exam. And an exam doesn’t make a “specialist”
    2) To work with scheme members on bulk, all firms should be vetted and placed on regional panels which have a code of conduct/best practice that all firms on the panel must meet. for example, non-contingent charging.

    Trustees, schemes, employers and firms needs to be more engaged in the advice process and understand what good looks like, and that not all advice is equal….I would only advocate guidance if I knew I exceed FCA expectations and delivered truly holistic advice…..not advice based on a *cough*cough* “Matrix”.

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