Today’s report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Non-advised drawdown pension sales review: summary of findings, shows that many savers are struggling with the complexity of decision making required following the pension freedoms. With drawdown sales now twice that of annuity sales, and 37% of drawdown sales being made without advice, it’s clear that significant reform is needed1.
Responding to the report, Tim Gosling, Policy Lead: DC, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association said:
“Turning a pot of money into an income is a challenging financial task and the FCA’s new report shows people are struggling in the absence of advice.
“The need for default investment pathways in non-advised drawdown to ensure good outcomes for savers is now clear. The FCA suggested this as a customer protection measure in the interim report of the Retirement Outcomes Review and we believe they should now follow through on that in their final report.
“In the future, the PLSA would like savers to benefit from a decumulation process that supports them in making good decisions throughout the course of their retirement. In particular we need to learn from the success of automatic enrolment and the power of defaults while still preserving retirees’ freedoms to act as they wish.
“We propose that trustees or IGCs should be able to select a decumulation product appropriate to the membership of their scheme and should sign-post their members to this product at retirement. This would create a clear path to a suitable income product for scheme members to follow if they chose. Members would be encouraged to make an active decision; and no member would be moved into the sign-posted decumulation product or solution without their explicit consent.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the FCA and our members on this matter; and will continue our own research as part of our Hitting the Target project.”