CTC’s client conference on “Pensions Freedom – What Next” took place on Tuesday 7th July at the Institute of Civil Engineers in Whitehall. Attended by 47 representatives across CTC’s clients including insurers, wealth managers, SIPP providers and advisers.
The event centred on the direction of regulatory change in light of Pensions Freedom and new approaches to achieving right customer outcomes as the regulatory framework evolves. The event was also attended by representatives from the FCA and a presentation given by Vaughan Jenkins from PA Consulting from their recent provider survey “The Future of Freedom”.
Interactive polling was used throughout the event to get a 'finger on the pulse' view of current market issues. Some of the key points of contention raised during the proceedings included:
- The government and industry are 'in debate' as to who is constraining consumers seeking pensions freedom (as reflected in the press)
- Providers see it as the regulator's responsibility to clarify the rules by which they can best help consumers. However the area in need of most attention is the Awareness stage of the consumer cycle much of which falls outside the brief of the FCA
- Just behind the regulator, the view was that consumers are ultimately responsible for their own outcomes - In a digital age consumers expect to take greater control. However the interpretation of regulations often conflicts with the aim to empower consumers
- The straw poll suggested 50% of members from (funded) DB schemes will want to explore pensions freedom and up to 20% could proceed with a transfer. This amounts to an advice market approaching £1bn and around £78bn assets moving out of schemes. Is there sufficient capacity in the market?