Tuesday, 04 December 2018 11:10

Zurich warns planners may face drawdown ‘capacity crunch’

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Financial Planners could face a potential ‘capacity crunch’ as clients demand more frequent pension drawdown reviews in future, platform provider Zurich has warned.

More than a third (38%) of consumers want their adviser to carry out a review of their drawdown plan at least every six months, instead of annually as many offer at present.

A YouGov study for Zurich, which surveyed more than 250 advised consumers using drawdown since the Pension Freedoms, suggests adviser workloads could “soar” as the market expands and more clients use drawdown and demand more regular reviews and changes.

Half (53%) of advised consumers said they would ideally like to meet their adviser once a year to discuss their drawdown plan but almost a third (31%) would prefer to meet every six months, while 6% wanted a review every three months and 1% more frequently still.

Zurich said that platforms should adopt a number of measures to “ease” the additional burden on their services. These could include automated disinvestment to ensure clients are always paid, easier processing of income changes and pre-funding when withdrawing cash.

He believes some platforms are poorly prepared for increased demand for drawdown.

Alistair Wilson, Zurich’s head of retail platform strategy, said: “In the future half-yearly reviews could become the norm, especially as defined benefit schemes decline, and people rely more than ever on drawdown for their retirement income.

“It’s positive that consumers are keen to engage with advice, and as more people move into drawdown, advisers are likely to face growing pressure on their time. This may mean advisers need to adjust how they work as they look to balance the demands of supporting existing customers, while continuing to develop their business.”

Mr Wilson added:  “As more consumers move into drawdown, advisers will be relying on platforms to help them stay on top of their workload and run their businesses more efficiently. However, the reality is that a significant part of the platform market has yet to adapt to the need to help advisers deliver income to consumers in retirement.”

• YouGov surveyed 660 adults whose pension is in drawdown, of which 276 had paid advice as their main support for managing their pension.

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