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27 August, 2014   |   By Ruth Gillbe, FT Adviser   |   Market News

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Is MAS doing enough to promote advice?

Following an interview with Andrew Pennie, marketing director at Intelligent Pensions, Ruth wrote an article about the latest publication from MAS 'Your Penion; It's time to choose'.

In light of the new pension choices and flexibility all retirees will have from April 2015, we strongly believe that more people will need advice and guidance. The guidance guarantee will be delivered by MAS (Money Advice Service) and TPAS (The Pensions Advisory Service) with hand-offs to qualified advisers where appropriate.

Pennie said 'While the brochure does show improvements on previous publications, the booklet does not go far enough to adequately promote the benefits of seeking advice, or the risks of not doing so.'

Pennie went on to say 'Our concern was ‘guidance/advice’ would still be heavily focused on the more definitive range of options available via annuities and that drawdown could be poorly mis-represented. This concern is evidenced in the Mas brochure.

“While the brochure mentions ongoing drawdown product and ‘performance review’ costs, it mentions nothing about the fact that a host of factors will influence suitability on an ongoing basis.

“Furthermore, it make no reference to the fact that drawdown is likely to be a temporary solution for the majority and exit strategies, such as ‘annuity drawdown’, should be considered as clients get older. The fact a drawdown investor can buy an annuity at any time is even omitted.”

However, despite some omissions, Andrew said that the brochure is at least a “step in the right direction” and that it is important "all areas of advice/guidance are working effectively together if we are to deliver an improvement in retirement outcomes."