You may notice a few changes as you turn the pages of Money Marketing this week.
We have spent the past year researching the market, listening to readers and working with designers to ensure we are taking account of the changing information needs of advisers.
Some things have not changed. The same multi-award winning team of journalists will be reporting on the issues that really matter to you and your clients, while taking more time to analyse the implications.
Alongside regular favourites, new sections focus on meeting the huge compliance challenges facing small firms, supporting those seeking to reshape their business models and highlighting impressive innovation.
You will also be hearing from a number of new, big-name investment columnists such as Stephanie Flanders who discusses the risk of European deflation.
We’ve even brought back the Money Marketing diary column, probably the least significant casualty of the credit crisis.
We would appreciate your feedback, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A savings revolution
It is hard to overplay the significance of the past few weeks for advisers and the wider sector.
The new flexibilities announced by the Chancellor have the potential to revitalise the long-term savings market, empowering savers to take more responsibility and promoting the need for professional financial advice as more people weigh up whether to take on the longevity risk of not buying an annuity.
Much of the national media focus has been on the impact on insurers, with some seeing huge falls in share price. Alongside last week’s confirmation of a 0.75 per cent charge cap, market falls were triggered by media reports about the scope of the FCA’s review of legacy policies which the regulator was later forced to clarify, much to the anger of insurers and politicians.
Pensions minister Steve Webb tied the charge cap move in with George Osborne’s Budget bombshell to declare a “full-frontal assault on poor value for money” and giving us inspiration for this week’s cover art.
Some insurers may be thinking policymakers have gone to war with them although analysts see plenty of opportunities in the long-term savings market and advisers think a secure income in retirement will still be attractive to many.
In an interview with Money Marketing, Webb suggests the risk of people blowing all their pension has been overblown while warning that the Government will come down “like a ton of bricks” on those looking to “game” the charge cap.
He also hints that private sector DB schemes will be allowed to transfer to DC arrangements after the Government threatened to ban the move as part of its pension reforms and suggests that the next administration will need to look at increasing pension contribution levels beyond 8 per cent.
Webb’s decision to retrospectively cut off all commission from auto enrolment group schemes from April 2016 is also likely to have a big impact on those insurers that wrote lots of commission business in the years leading up to the RDR. It is also going to have a huge effect on many adviser firms.
For certain clients immediate action must be considered, alongside thinking about future financial planning strategies. Taxbriefs editorial director Danby Bloch sets out these opportunities here.
Meanwhile Technical Connection’s Tony Wickenden looks beyond the hyperbolic headlines to highlight why buy-to-let investing with your pension pot may not be as attractive as some are making out.
We hope you enjoy the new look Money Marketing and please let us know your thoughts on the changes we have made.
Paul McMillan is group editor at Money Marketing- follow him on twitter here