On 9 April, the Pensions Advice Taskforce launched its new consumer guide to help the public better understand what to expect from regulated financial advice in this area.
The new guide was the result of “close collaboration between all parts of the pension sector, including financial advisers, PI insurers, consumer bodies, and regulators working together with a common objective to deliver better consumer outcomes and ultimately secure confidence and trust”.
The guide defines an adviser code which incorporates nine key principles of good practice for when advising on pension transfers.
These nine key principles are:
1. Helping clients understand when advice is appropriate
2. Ensuring advice given supports the client’s overall wellbeing in the context of their stated objectives
3. Ensuring client understanding and acceptance of all charges
4. Ensuring the most appropriate and updated technical skills are applied
5. Transparent management of Conflicts of Interest
6. Helping clients understanding the cost of transferring benefits
7. Avoiding unregulated investments and introducers
8. Transparency in advice processes and outcomes
9. Promoting the Consumer Guide to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard
Keith Richards, CEO of The Personal Finance Society and Chair of the Pension Advice Taskforce, said: “The overwhelming response and support of the Gold Standard represents the cultural and professionalism of the majority who are passionate about their profession but recognise that we need to be more united behind the best outcomes for the public, not just the clients who already trust us.
“As a PFS led initiative, I cannot emphasise enough the value this sector-wide collaboration will deliver in terms of public trust and protecting the reputation of the profession.”
David Pugh, managing partner at Informed Pensions said: “We welcome this initiative to raise standards and intend to fully support it.
“We were particularly impressed with the consumer facing material and how it highlights the important aspects an individual should ask their adviser when considering a transfer.”