Senior Industry Stakeholders have called for a reassessment of who pays towards the government’s free retirement guidance in light of the expansions proposed (Financial Planning Bristol).

Steven Cameron, regulatory strategy director at Aegon UK, said when Pension Wise was set up it had a clear and worthy purpose, to offer free impartial guidance to those aged 55 and above.

Since then, he said Pension Wise’s remit has been expanded to those aged 50 plus.

In December, HM Treasury announced Pension Wise would offer guidance to those who are considering selling their annuity on the secondary market.

Earlier this month, the government published its response to the pension transfer and early exit charges consultation, noting that Pension Wise will develop “new content on the transfer process”.

Mr Cameron said while these extensions may benefit some individuals , it also begged the question of who should pay for the service. He said “We hope the Financial Advice Market Review will create opportunities for cost-effective models between “no” and “full” advice.

This would be the time to re-evaluate where public guidance services such as Pension Wise should be targeted.

The Association of Professional Advisers  director general Chris Hannant, said the FCA should look at the issue of funding Pension Wise. “My understanding is they are doing so at present,”. Mr Hannant Added.

When FTAdviser asked the FCA and Treasury for more information, both stated that it was up to the other Pension Wise partner to comment on funding the guidance provider.

In January 2015, the Treasury revealed that advisers that advisers would pay £4.2m towards the pension free-doms “guidance guarantee levy, with the overall initial industry levy for 2015/16 set at £35m.

(FTAdviser, February 2016)

Financial Planning Bristol

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About Us: Churchill Wealth Management is a team of independent financial advisors/financial advisers (IFAs) based in Clifton, Bristol. We provide independent financial advice, including pension advice, investment advice, inheritance tax planning and protection/insurance advice.