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TSC member: RDR impact comes at ‘wrong time’ for pension reforms

Conservative MP and Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier says the RDR has come at the “wrong time” in light of the new pension freedoms and more complexity in the savings market.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham today, Garnier said the RDR has reduced the access to advice.

Garnier says the changes to pensions announced in the Budget were necessary to boost savings incentives in a low interest rate environment but he believes the reforms make advice more important.

Garnier said: “We have an advice gap. This is significant going forward given the complexity of the market. The RDR has come at the wrong time given what we are seeing in the complexity of the savings market.

“If you are involved in the financial world then the thing you look at with absolute scrutiny is risk but most people simply don’t understand it.”

Standard Life head of corporate strategy and propositions Jamie Jenkins says: “There is a gap. An adviser, understandably when you consider all the things they have to do, will say the cost of advice is £1,000 or £2,000. For someone with £20,000 it is disproportionate. It’s not the adviser’s fault, it’s just disproportionate. So how do we get the cost down to something which is much more affordable.”

Garnier has been a vocal critic of the RDR, claiming the FSA made a “pig’s ear” of implementing it and that the Treasury select committee should conduct a “hangover” review of its impact. 

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  1. A “hangover” review of the impact of the RDR is all very well but, if the TSC has no powers to enforce its findings, then what will be the point? The TSC should be the policeman of the regulator, with unassailable authority to curb, to rein in and, where necessary to block outright the regulator’s unbridled licence to impose its own agenda without reference to any outside moderating body. What is APFA’s stance on this? More meetings that go nowhere?

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