Now: Pensions has scrapped a scheme where it paid advisers between £1 and £2 per member for communicating the benefits of automatic enrolment due to a “lack of demand”.
The provider launched the “member education and adviser support” programme in October 2012 claiming it could help “close the advice gap which will exist under auto-enrolment”.
The offering was endorsed by a number of advice firms and employee benefits consultants including Chase de Vere, Mercer and Thomsons Online Benefits.
In an interview with Money Marketing, Now: Pensions chief executive Morten Nilsson says the provider decided to scrap the programme in June because of a lack of demand.
He says: “The member education initiative was launched in October 2012 as a pilot programme.
“While initial interest was strong, take up was low and due to lack of demand, we discontinued the programme in June this year.
“We continue to believe in the importance of financial education in the workplace and are considering alternative ways of delivering this to members.”
Nilsson insists the decision to pull the programme was not linked to an FCA clampdown on post-RDR payments from providers to advisers.
He says: “There were no regulatory issues at all. We were very clear the adviser would not be paid by members – it was us paying advisers out of our communications budget and it happened after the employer had chosen us.”
Chase de Vere head of communications Patrick Connolly says: “In the current regulatory environment it is not a sensible idea to have payments going between providers and advisers.”