The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will find poor practice and mis-selling when it delves into the non-advised annuity sales market, according to PP readers.
A third of the 157 respondents to this week's Pensions Buzz survey said mis-selling had been widespread, while just under half said the watchdog would find isolated incidents.
Elsewhere in the research, contributors backed the idea of a flexible state retirement age, but rejected a call for separate tax regimes for defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB).
Pundits also said the market for bonds linked to the consumer prices index (CPI) would grow, and said it was acceptable for DC transfers to take up to a month.
To see the results in full, click here.
Eight out of ten respondents expected the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to uncover poor practice when it reviews annuity sales, with a third saying mis-selling was rife.
A respondent said: "Insurers offered differing levels of commission. That is a deliberate incentive to push one annuity provider over another. Mis-selling is the obvious outcome."
However one person warned: "I suspect that many of the cases uncovered will be as a result of applying today's standards to yesterday's practices."
Others suggested it was stretching the definition of mis-selling to apply it to non-advised sales.
Only 7% said the FCA would find no wrongdoing. One respondent said: "This is a witch hunt to try and get money out of annuity providers. If people didn't investigate their options how is it anyone else's fault?"
Just over half of this week's 157 respondents backed the idea of introducing a flexible state pension age.
Supporters said the suggestion, raised by Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest would make the system fairer for those with low life expectancy and give people more choice. But many added that making it work would be challenging.
But a pundit said: "Cost means that state benefits will either have to be time-limited (a ten year retirement?) or early retirement factors applied."
Another argued without some flexibility a reasonable retirement age would become the preserve of the well-off.
However a third of respondents were critical of the concept on the grounds it was too complex, expensive and difficult to administer.
A commentator called it "probably the worst idea since the square wheel" while another sceptic concluded: "Knowing human nature, in this context ‘flexible' will mean ‘earlier', and the country cannot afford it. Look what happened in Greece!"
Just under six out of ten respondents expect the number of bonds linked to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to grow over the next decade.
One in three of those respondents said they would only be used by the biggest funds, however.
But many respondents said the market would develop to meet the demand for matching liabilities.
One commentator said: "This has to happen, the government have created the need for it with their changes from the Retail Prices Index - why the delay?"
Another added: "I think large schemes will look at packages, but retail customers will continue to struggle."
Just one in ten contributors said the market would fail to take off. "All the time the government doesn't issue them, then they won't be mainstream," said one respondent. "Limited supply will be outstripped by demand."
Just under half of people said a typical DC transfer should take between a week and a month.
One pundit said: "A straight forward transfer between large insurers should be completed within ten working days. Transfers to self-invested personal pensions, small self-administered schemes and other products with non-mainstream providers will take months due to the due diligence checks needed to avoid pension scams."
But over a quarter of contributors thought transfers should take three to seven days. Respondents said gathering information and taking advice took time, but processing a transfer should not take more than a week.
One in twenty said transfers should take more than a month, but 3% said they should take less than a day. "Bank transfer is now almost instant, why should a pension transfer, particularly a DC transfer, take any longer?" asked on contributor.
Two thirds of respondents rejected the idea of a separate tax regimes of for DC and DB pensions.
Many complained the tax treatment of pensions was complicated enough as it was.
One respondent said: "If DB and DC arrangements were subject to separate tax regimes life would become even more complex - more work for advisers but individuals, particularly those with both types of pension, would become very confused."
Both systems should be based on tax-free contributions and asset growth with tax paid at marginal rate on receipt, said another.
Just over a quarter argued they should be treated differently. One pundit said: "We should try and broadly make them similar in terms of the outcomes, but use different levers to make that happen. Trying to get it 100% equal will create more confusion, and unlikely to end with complete parity anyway."
To see the results in full, click here.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know whether you support the ruling that defined benefit (DB) trustees must equalise GMPs in past transfers.
More than £130bn of company funds are tied up in pension schemes specifically due to lower than expected levels of life expectancy improvements over the last decade, according to PwC.
XPS Pensions Group has launched a scam protection checklist to assist trustees in meeting The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) scam pledge initiative.
This week’s top stories included the rejection of an automatic guidance amendment in the Pension Schemes Bill, while The Pensions Regulator posted a sharp increase in the use of its powers.
The majority of the pensions industry agrees an eventual net-zero target should not be mandated for schemes as part of the Pension Schemes Bill, according to a Professional Pensions poll.