Pension freedoms receive Royal Assent; the industry responds
Yesterday, George Osborne’s pension reforms received Royal Assent; the Pension Schemes Bill is now officially an Act.
The Bill also set out a number of provisions for Pension Wise, the free official pension reform advice service.
Numerous industry figures and commentators have responded to the news. Andrew Pennie of Intelligent Pensions noted that the Act was “an important stepping stone” to introduction on 6 April, which provided “the necessary ingredient of the guidance guarantee.”
While stating his belief that Pension Wise would offer “valuable guidance to thousands”, helping new retirees “understand their options”, Pennie acknowledged that the service “will not be working perfectly from day one” – but forecasted it would become “a key component of the advice process” in time.
However, he also voiced concerns that guidance and support is being focused on those “at the point of retirement”, and believes the provision “needs to be widened.”
“People need more help in the years approaching retirement to select the correct pre-retirement investment strategy to meet their needs and objectives,” Pennie concluded. “Standardised approaches in pre-retirement years are no longer suitable; everybody’s retirement will be different A more personalised approach is needed if we are to see significant improvements in retirement outcomes.”