In its response to the announcement from the Department for Work and Pensions that they plan to steer people towards taking Pension Wise guidance when they seek to access their pension, the insurance professional body said a shift in regulation is needed so pension providers can offer more support to customers when they make retirement decisions.
The ABI said regulators should use the greater flexibilities post-Brexit to adapt rules on guidance and advice to achieve a step change in the support available to customers.
Yvonne Braun, director of long-term savings and protection at the ABI said: “People now have far more flexibility in retirement thanks to the pension freedoms, but we still have lots to learn about the impact and success of the policy.
“DWP’s measures to increase the number of people receiving guidance when looking to withdraw from their pensions are welcome but there is more that can be done to tackle the advice and guidance black holes. As recommended in our future-proofing the freedoms report, there needs to be a shift in the regulatory boundary so pension providers can offer more support to customers when they make retirement decisions.
“We won’t know for years whether the pension freedoms have been successful. The research by NatCen is a helpful contribution to improve our understanding of people’s circumstances and attitudes toward their retirement in light of the freedoms. Industry, government, regulators and stakeholders must continue to work together and tackle issues like not planning for later life retirement and underestimating life expectancy.”
During lockdown, the ABI urged pension savers to get authorised financial advice before making any decision about a pension.
The body is concerned that many people will use the Pension Freedoms to take cash early from their pensions.