The CII group response to the Chancellor's pension reforms
announced in Budget 2014. Our submission focuses on the "guidance
guarantee" emphasising the need for standards in this area to
protect the public.
We support the Chancellor's ambition
behind the retirement reforms. They could however expose the
customer to risks and significant unintended consequences unless
appropriate essential safeguards are put in place.
- The public must be confident in the "Retirement Guidance"
offered; that whatever is given is relevant to their needs; that
the organisations and/or individuals offering this Guidance have
sufficient knowledge and ability to do so; and that appropriate
steps are taken to manage any conflicts of interest.
- We believe that the only way to generate such confidence is by
ensuring that all those delivering Guidance should be subject to an
integrated set of Standards, Training, Accreditation and
- At the core of this STAR is a set of minimum standards covering
quality, entry criteria and ongoing assessment. This includes
high-level design and delivery standards, including possible areas
of knowledge and competence. This response sets out what these
standards might look like.
- All this must be in place by April 2015 if the Government
wishes to meet its criteria of quality and impartiality.
- Training, accreditation and especially the revalidation
requirements for those giving Guidance are just as important. This
response also includes some high level suggestions in these
- There also needs to be some ultimate oversight of the
standards, to ensure a consistently high quality across the range
of provision offered. While we do not believe this warrants full
FCA regulation, instead we suggest the Government explore some
other model that combines the STAR approach with government
Next Steps: the CII is willing to work with
HMT/FCA and the market to arrive at the right level of standards,
and then help develop training, accreditation and revalidation
solutions as required.
View the attached document »
CII Briefing: The Chancellor's Pension Reforms - Freedom of Choice
and the "Right to Guidance" (March 2014)