The Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) has used a pensions advice guide to question if the Government can achieve its 2012 personal accounts launch date.
The IFA guide, 'Viewpoint: guide to pensions advice in the run up to pension’s reform’, also questions which organisations will run the scheme and what charges the scheme will require.
Fay Goddard, deputy director general of AIFA, says five years to the personal accounts launch might seem a reasonable amount of time but there are a number of obstacles. These include political uncertainty and the Government's need to finish setting up the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA) and the scheme's legislation.
She says: "It's a hugely complicated process. We have Paul Myners now going through his role and you've got to remember this is a delivery authority to deliver and then it has to be administered.
"There are potentially millions of pounds that have got to be managed and a public awareness campaign."
The AIFA guide includes advice for: employees on starting their own pensions savings; self-employed on starting a pension; employers on starting a pension scheme and the impact of means tested benefits on pension entitlements.
Chris Cummings, director general of AIFA, says: “As publicised widely, there is a huge pensions gap, people are living longer and spending more, with no real savings plans for the future.
“In the run up to the government’s pension’s reform proposals, advisers need to be aware of developments but as a society we must not wait until 2012 to start saving.”
He adds: “In our industry, there’s always change of some sort proposed for the future. This can make advisers’ lives difficult, but as always, the message has to be to get on with the job in hand as best as possible, allowing for the known – and recognising the unknowns.
“This doesn’t mean ignoring future possible changes, but instead helping clients understand what these might mean for them in future. This in turn highlights the important role ongoing advice plays – responding to changes in both personal circumstances and in the wider environment, including regulation and legislation.”
Advisers can find the guide on AIFA’s website.
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