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Prudential hits back in pensions guidance war of words

Prudential has hit back after rival firms argued providers should not be involved in offering retirement guidance to savers to support Chancellor George Osborne’s radical pension reforms.

During his Budget speech last month, Osborne guaranteed that every defined contribution saver would receive “free, impartial, face to face advice” to help them decide how to spend their pension pot.

However, the Budget documents downgraded the pledge to a “guidance guarantee”.

Last week Money Marketing revealed insurers were at war over who should deliver the guidance, with two saying they could quit the Association of British Insurers over the issue.

Friends Life, Just Retirement, MGM Advantage, Partnership and Royal London all say providers should not deliver the guidance.

However, Prudential UK and Europe distribution change director Russell Warwick says: “While there are clearly differences of opinion as to the role that providers could play in providing the guidance, we shouldn’t overlook the strengths and experience that many providers have in this area.

“These strengths include the ability to identify and access customers who are coming up to retirement, expertise in the existing policies these customers hold and any guarantees included, and experience in providing the majority of the product solutions that are likely to be involved, both before and after retirement.

“Therefore dismissing out of hand the potential benefits of including product providers as part of the eventual solution seems in our view to be short-sighted at best.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Ah! The Pru doesn’t change its spots!

    Shades of Mick Newmarch – “We don’t have any pension transfer problems”.

    When it comes to setting a bad example the Pru can always be relied upon.

  2. Clearly providers will be involved in the solution…as information suppliers. Any suggestion that guidance issued by providers in a direct conflict of interest situation could be impartial and seen to be so is farcical! Any reasonable and right minded person can see that. The very fact Pru can’t see this just reinforces the argument to take providers out of the guidance equation.

  3. I agree with Messrs Katz and Douglas. Why would any business want to pay staff to provide guidence, without expecting their employees to get something back for the company? The pressure on them to do so is obvious. The Pru’s represenative must think we are all stupid, which indicates possibly he is.

  4. Might the Pru’s stance have something to do with the new Direct Sales Force, which it has recently recruited?

  5. Blah blah blah same old sad advisers putting boot into any provider offering any opinions…”pru used to do door to door and direct sales so i hate them for ever” , “standard life didn’t let me carpet bag enough so i hate them forever”….”L&G made a mistake on one of my props so i hate them forever…” actually the last one is true!

  6. Derek

    You can’t be that much out of touch. It isn’t just advisers. Have you any conception of how the general public (or at least those whom I come across) regard these firms? Advisers are genteel politeness by comparison

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