The Personal Finance Society is in the process of establishing a representative industry forum to be known as the Pensions Advice Taskforce.
It will include financial advisers, actuaries, scheme administrators, providers, insurers and consultants with direct experience of both individual and workplace pensions. Initial meetings have taken place with the following in attendance;
- Steve Webb, Royal London director of policy
- Margaret Snowden from the Pensions Administration Standards Association
- Simon Chrystal of Workplace Solutions
- Rory Percival, PFS Board member, consultant and former FCA technical specialist
They will be joined at future meetings by Sue Lewis from the FCA’s consumer panel and Michelle Cracknell from The Pensions Advisory Service. Both the FCA and The Pensions Regulator will also attend meetings as technical observers, maintaining their independence but informing the Board as appropriate.
The primary purpose of the Board is to bring together representatives of the various stakeholders working within the wider pensions and advice community, as well as consumer representation, to build a principle-based framework that advisers can support, and consumers can both recognise and access. In addition, it will seek to work with all stakeholders to address areas of concern and set out / reinforce positive messages based on analysis of factual data and trends as well as the establishment of good practice in key advice areas.
Following the introduction of pension freedoms, the Personal Finance Society recognised the need to create such a forum to bring all stakeholders together. The taskforce will be fully aligned to the purpose of the Personal Finance Society by supporting and driving professional standards for the ultimate benefit of the public; its success will ultimately rest with the delivery of meaningful and positive outcomes for consumers.
Keith Richards, CEO of the Personal Finance Society, commented:
“The retirement landscape continues to evolve with professional advice playing a crucial role in meeting consumer financial planning needs. The pace of change has led to some areas of concern and unintended consequences for consumers, especially those entering draw-down without having consulted a professional adviser or Pension Wise guidance. The recent high profile British Steel fiasco has also thrown into question adviser conflicts of interest for DB transfers, now impacting PI Insurers confidence.
It is essential that we introduce initiatives that address these rising areas of concern, via sector agreed ‘good practice’ and a ‘voluntary code’ which consumers and PI Insurers can rely on. Protecting the excellent progress of the profession and the growing financial planning needs of the public is at the heart of the Taskforce’s purpose.”