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Pensions trade bodies demand urgent Govt action on guidance guarantee

Industry bodies have written to Chancellor George Osborne urging immediate action to ensure the guidance guarantee is delivered on time.

The Association of British Insurers and the National Association of Pension Funds are warning the guidance guarantee will miss its April 2015 deadline unless fundamental decisions about its delivery are made in the coming weeks.

In a joint letter sent to the Chancellor today, the organisations say decisions are needed from the Government by next month on the following: what areas the guidance will cover and who it will be available to, which organisation will deliver the guidance, who will lead in setting up the service and establishing its standards, and how the funding mechanism will work.

The guidance guarantee is designed to support radical pension reforms announced in the Budget.

The Government has said it will inject £20m to the initiative to fund start up costs, and will impose an unspecified levy on pension providers and trust-based schemes.

ABI director general Otto Thoresen says: “Time is not on our side. No one should underestimate the work that needs to be done to make this a reality, which is why the Government has some urgent decisions to make.

“We stand ready to help shape the guidance guarantee to make sure it fits well with current retirement communications and systems and delivers value for money.”

NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars says there remains an “unnerving lack of detail” from the Government on how the guidance service will work.

She says: “It is clear the success of the Government’s reforms will lie in making sure consumers have access to good impartial guidance so they can make the right decisions about their income for retirement.

“Key to this will be a clear structure and plan for delivery. The consultation does not need to have been completed before the practical delivery of the guidance service can be mapped out and we are calling on the Government to work with us to put this plan in place by the end of July.”


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