The Pensions Advisory Service has held talks with both the Pension Income Choice Association and the Money Advice Service as the battle of the adviser directories intensifies.
The development of a comprehensive directory of retirement advisers and brokers is seen by the industry as key in supporting Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget guidance guarantee.
After the Treasury chose TPAS and Citizens Advice to deliver the guidance, MAS confirmed it was creating a directory “to make it easier for people to find a regulated adviser, if they need one”.
TPAS has held talks with both PICA – which launched an adviser directory in November 2013 – and MAS about referring guidance customers to their respective directories. The MAS directory has not yet been built.
A TPAS spokeswoman says the organisation “doesn’t want a proliferation of directories” but that it is ultimately up to the Treasury which directory will be used by the organisations delivering the guidance guarantee.
TPAS is understood to be leading discussions with policymakers on the directories and feeding information back to Citizens Advice, which in October was confirmed as the Government’s choice to deliver face-to-face guidance from April next year.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research and PICA chairman Tom McPhail says: “The PICA directory is the most likely solution. Having said that what we have designed predates the Budget.
“The PICA directory makes the most sense – it is built and it is non-commercial. You could question why anyone would want to build another one.
“MAS wants to spend advisers’ money building another one that’s up to them.”
MAS launched a consultation on the design of its directory in June this year. In August, the organisation said it was considering expanding the service to include all advisers and not just retirement specialists.
A Treasury spokeswoman says no decision has yet been made on which directory the guidance will link to.
The MAS was unavailable for comment.