Thursday, 16 March 2017 11:55

'Mis-buying crisis looms unless more take up advice'

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A pensions mis-buying crisis is looming unless there is further action to increase the take up of advice, LV= is warning.

The firm’s latest research showed a “worrying number of consumers aged over 55 are not planning to take financial advice when they retire”.

Six in ten (61%) over 55s surveyed said they don’t plan on taking financial advice when they give up working and 52% stated they can make the right decisions without advice.

People risk losing out on thousands of pounds over the course of their retirement, the company fears.

 

Philip Brown, head of policy at LV=, said: “The poor understanding of financial advice is particularly worrying at a time when consumers are faced with more complex decisions about retirement than ever before. Taking financial advice is vital to ensure consumers are equipped to make the most of their hard-earned savings and get the income they need in retirement.

“Although the work on FAMR is set to address the advice needs of the mass market, not enough is being done to educate consumers about the value of advice. LV= has repeatedly warned that without further action to increase take up of advice we face a mis-buying crisis, and showing consumers why it is good value for money is a key part of this.”

One of the reasons for not taking financial advice appears to be a lack of understanding of what it offers, with a third (33%) not certain they know the difference between guidance and advice and just one in five (22%) thinking it is good value for money.

Other reasons given include: people relying on their own research (23%), not thinking they have enough money to make it worthwhile (22%), and advice being too expensive (15%).

Andrew Pennie, head of pathways at Intelligent Pensions, believes the Government will be concerned by the survey results.

Mr Pennie said: “Current member guidance and ‘one size fits all’ solutions simply aren’t enough to ensure the majority of members will achieve a good retirement outcome and if there is a mis-buying crisis, it will be interesting to see where blame and responsibility are apportioned. Everybody’s retirement will be different and a more personalised approach is needed, this is where advice can deliver much needed value.”

He said: “If you look at FCA and ABI data about how people are accessing their DC pension benefits, the problems are very evident; too many cashing in large pension funds, withdrawal rates at incredibly high and unsustainable levels, people not taking up highly valuable guaranteed annuity rates and a general lack of people shopping around to get the best deal.”

He added: “Pensions are complex and we can’t and shouldn’t expect to make people pension experts with general guidance.”

Last modified on Friday, 17 March 2017 15:09
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