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‘Time is running out’: ABI presses Treasury for more guidance details

Association of British Insurers director-general Otto Thoresen says “time is running out” for details on pensions guidance and he will keep up pressure on the Treasury for more detailed information.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Thoresen says providers need much greater clarity over the scope, branding and mechanics of guidance.

The ABI is also pressing for more information about the tax and legal implications of the pension freedoms.

The new guidance regime is launching next April and this week the Government published amendments to the Pension Schemes Bill unveiling more detail.

Thoresen says: “The main thing is the sooner we can get clarity around how our customers deal with this new element, the better. Time is running out.”

He adds: “My experience with these legislative changes is that good consultation and a good period to execute well improves the chances of success but we have to deal with the realities of where we are.

“We haven’t been standing back, we have been engaging with Treasury throughout. I believe those involved are doing their best to do it as quickly as possible.

“We are going to keep maintaining the pressure on them so we can respond well. It’s not that we know nothing, we know the broad framework. But the fact is there will have to be some pragmatic solutions delivered because clearly the lead time is not what we would have liked. We all want good outcomes for consumers.”

Treasury select committee member and Labour MP Andy Love says: “Can this be up and running effectively by April next year? It is not just 400,000 retiring every year but a lot of people holding back until the guidance guarantee comes into being. People will come knocking on their door and a significant number will want it.”


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