Canada Life has branded the FSA's proposals for generic advice a "disaster in waiting" for the retirement market.
It claims the plan to allow pension and other retirement products to be sold by generic advisers would not allow factors important to retirement income planning to be taken into account. These could include long term health projections, inheritance issues and lifestyle planning.
Bernard Footitt, technical support manager of pensions at Canada Life, tells IFAonline: “On one level, any increased awareness of the options available can only be positive. However, there are far more variables to be considered when choosing the best retirement income arrangements, than can be addressed purely by generic advice.”
His view is shared by Winterthur's pension strategy manager Mike Morrison who questions whether the help given from generic advisers should be categorised as 'advice'.
He says: “I think it is difficult to call it generic advice. Anything that is generic advice ends up being information as opposed to advice. If it is just generic information, such as if you should pay off your credit card debt, some of that could be very useful.
"Canada Life is right that generic advice wouldn’t be right for anything that needs complexity. Generic advice is just pointing you in the right direction.”
In July, the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) outlined proposals for three advice tiers; professional financial planners and advisory services, general financial advisers and primary advisers.
Last month the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) said proposals for primary advice could lead to “a half way house where consumers are partially advised”.
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