View more on these topics

TPAS reports post-freedoms demand spike

Cracknell-Michelle-TPAS-2013-700.jpg

The Pensions Advisory Service has reported a huge surge in customer volumes following the introduction of the pension freedoms in April.

TPAS has been charged with delivering the telephone portion of the Government’s Pension Wise guidance service. Citizens Advice is providing face-to-face guidance, while the Treasury has developed the online service.

Earlier this week the Treasury announced the Department for Work and Pensions would take responsibility for Pension Wise by the end of 2015.

TPAS chief executive Michelle Cracknell says enquiries have almost doubled year-on-year in the five months to August, from 38,000 to over 70,000.

She says: “The start of 2015/16 has seen a continuation of high volumes of customers accessing our services.

“In the first five months to August, we have seen an 84 per cent increase compared with the same period in 2014/15. We are delighted but we believe this is just the start.

“The next few years will see the pension landscape go through further dramatic changes; completion of automatic enrolment, introduction of the new state pension in 2016, review of taxation of pension funds and [the] impact of pension reforms.

“The major culture change is the shift to personal responsibility to make provision for retirement income, where it [is] essential that people feel empowered and are equipped with the tools required to make informed choices.

“This will generate even greater need and demand for pension guidance.”

In total TPAS says it helped 103,000 people in 2014/15. The service also cut the average cost per direct contact over the last five years, from £40.93 in 2010/11 to £33.58 in 2014/15.

Recommended

Business-Handshake-General-Hire-Appointment-700x450.jpg

Old Mutual Wealth appoints adviser sales head

Old Mutual Wealth has appointed Investec’s Gary Dale as head of advisory sales. The new role combines the previous north and south of UK regional sales roles into one position. Gary Stirrup and Nick Jones previously held those positions and have left the firm. Dale comes from Investec where he was head of intermediary sales […]

Business-Handshake-Finance-Deal-700.jpg

Iress seals double software swoop

Software specialist Iress has announced two acquisitions, including the purchase of a market data provider from the London Stock Exchange. Iress has bought Proquote from the LSE and Pulse Software Systems, which develops portfolio management software for asset managers. The amount paid for both firms has not been disclosed. The deal will also see all […]

1

Platform focus: Can Aegon shake its middle of the road status?

Our new series of platform focuses will run on a bi-weekly basis, with the list of adviser platforms ordered alphabetically. Aegon comes first. Aegon is the youngest of the platforms we consider but is the fastest growing. Assets under administration at the end of June were £4.63bn, up 139 per cent in the past year. […]

HM-Treasury-500x320.jpg
11

Govt to review pension transfer rules for ARs

The Government and FCA are to review rules that suggest appointed representatives are barred from working on transfers of safeguarded benefits. In March the regulator announced it was introducing tighter standards on pension transfers, creating a new term – safeguarded benefits – to include transfers from defined benefit schemes and plans with guaranteed annuity rates. […]

Guide cover resized

Guide: Johnson Fleming’s managed auto-enrolment service for SMEs

Johnson Fleming has launched its new managed auto-enrolment service, designed to support SME businesses of up to 250 employees. The managed auto-enrolment service is not just about providing businesses with a software system for them to manage themselves, but more about outsourcing the administration of the project and scheme to Johnson Fleming’s auto-enrolment staff.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Given that the vast majority of calls to the PAS are probably from people wanting to do the wrong thing with their pension funds and may well do so regardless of what they’re told by a PAS counsellor (such as seeking out proper advice for which they’ll have to pay but probably don’t want to, hence they’ve phoned the PAS), it’s somewhat strange that Ms. Cracknell should be so delighted. Or is her delight based simply on the fact that the phones are ringing and that her staff have something to do?

    A £100 voucher system for a preliminary consultation with a qualified adviser would be vastly less costly and most competent advisers, I suspect, could probably determine within an hour whether or not the enquirer’s interest in cashing in his pension fund/s is likely to be a prudent course of action (which, in the great majority of cases, it probably won’t be).

    Then again, my guess is that advisers would probably experience such terrible difficulties and delays redeeming the vouchers (isn’t that the way such schemes usually go?) that most, after not very long, would decide to abandon participation in the scheme unless the onus to reclaim the £100 was shifted to the customer.

Leave a comment