UK - The government must act to harmonise the savings and benefits regime to encourage lower-income consumers to save, according to the Royal London Group.
The group – which includes Scottish Life, Bright Grey, Scottish life International and Royal London Asset Management – was responding to the Financial Services Authority’s discussion paper, Options for Regulating the Sale of Simplified Investment Products.
Group chief executive Mike Yardley said: “Under the current selling regime, distributors of products are unable to profitably reach middle and lower-income consumers.
“This failure is a major contributory factor to the savings gap and must be addressed.”
The group’s response also said a system of “guided self-help” would go furthest to meeting the need for simple product guidance and efficient delivery.
It added that distributors should be permitted to provide simple term assurance products alongside long-term savings to combat the growing protection gap caused by a lack of readily available advice.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.