UK - The Society of Pension Consultants is backing moves to make takeholder pension advice simpler and quicker.
But the SPC warns it is important to check whether consumers are eligible for employer-sponsored schemes before they take out their own stakeholder policy.
The SPC was responding to a Financial Services Authority consultation on the new regime which aims to make it easier for individuals to access low-cost, risk-controlled products in the workplace.
Currently options are limited to taking detailed financial planning advice or buying without any help at all.
The SPC welcomed the proposals, and agreed it was not necessary for the advice to be a controlled function, providing the advice was offered by a salesperson from an FSA-authorised firm, and disclosure guidelines were made available.
But, although the FSA will not require stakeholder salespeople to hold formal financial planning qualifications, the S% warned that some firms might not allow pension advice from those without qualifications.
The SPC also said it was important that advisers dig deep to establish whether a consumer was eligible for an employer-sponsored scheme before he or she took out a stakeholder policy. It recommended a requirement be made by the FSA that eligibility is adequately checked.
The SPC concluded: “We agree that the basic advice process would be a reasonable basis upon which to encourage membership of workplace-related stakeholder schemes.”
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