The latest IFA barometer from Sesame reveals advisers believe the 'revolving door' of ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is adding to the problems in the pensions market.
Of the 300 IFAs who took part in Sesame’s survey, 76% either agreed or strongly agreed if the high turnover of DWP ministers continued it would exacerbate the problems of the long-term savings gap.
Sesame says the study highlights the fact the advice market wants consistency at the DWP in order to help improve the long-term savings situation, as there have been five Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions since 2000, and the feeling is this ‘revolving door’ of appointments creates the wrong impression among the public.
In addition, the survey claims advisers believe the lack of a coherent government policy is also contributing to the worsening state of the pension market, with 79% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing pensions would be better off without political meddling.
The results of the survey also criticised the amount of admin advisers are forced to do, with 83% saying the majority of their working day is taken up with admin, meaning they have less and less time to spend with clients.
Alastair Conway, head of customer propositions at Sesame, says it will come as no surprise advisers are less than enamoured with this government’s handling of the long-term savings crisis.
He adds: “The alarming turnover of DWP ministers is further undermining public confidence in savings products. People are being asked to make long-term financial decisions, and that is best achieved in a stable long-term environment.”
Conway points out there needs to be greater continuity in order to address the long-term savings crisis, as we have reached a pivotal moment and the government needs to work closely with the advice industry to ensure they deliver a long-term solution.
In addition he says: “The burden of admin for advisers has continued to increase in recent years. However it is encouraging to see early signs of advisers beginning to re-examine their business to see how they can streamline their processes and at the same time deliver an improved experience for their clients."
However Adrian Boulding, pensions strategy director at Legal & General, disagrees that the ‘revolving door’ of DWP ministers is exacerbating the problem of the pensions crisis.
He says: “With the exception of Frank Field, who was the first DWP minister in 1997 and had some very radical ideas, the government policy in this area has been remarkably stable and consistent as ministers have come and gone. Although we mustn’t forget for the current Pensions Minister, Stephen Timms, this is the second time he’s held the post, maybe he got stuck in the revolving door and couldn’t get off in time.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7968 4558 or email [email protected]IFAonline
A question of selectivity
Watchdog interviewed 13,000 people
Debate over loyalty bonuses