More than a quarter of providers believe they have no duty to tell customers about their retirement options, because the sole responsibility rests with advisers, research suggests.
On the issue of disclosure, 27% of pension providers washed their hands of communicating information to customers, according to the survey by Dunstan Thomas.
For pre-retirement communication the belief was most stark, with nearly a third (31%) of providers saying it was entirely the adviser's responsibility.
However providers have a nagging concern they are most exposed to disclosure non-compliance, with 52% of respondents saying they were most ‘at risk', compared to 31% who thought adviser firms face more exposure.
Elsewhere, while a quarter (26%) of providers are offering the more detailed and accurate illustrations called for by the FSA in its 2009 Thematic Review of SIPP operators, nearly half (44%) still do not intend to offer asset-level illustrations this year.
The remainder (30%) are intending to put new illustrations in this year to tackle this issue.
In its September 2009 Thematic Review, the FSA stated: "We would remind firms that depending on their individual activities and the fees and charges they levy, the provisions of COBS 2 apply.
"In particular, we would draw to firms' attention COBS 2.2.1R (a) and (d), which require them to provide information about their firm and its services, and all its costs and associated charges, in a comprehensible form to a client."
Another disclosure requirement from the FSA - the so-called ‘Wake up Pack' - is now offered by 48% of providers surveyed, but more than one in six (17%) aren't prioritising this sufficiently to put it in this year.
Dunstan Thomas chairman Chris Read says: "Effective disclosure which gives customers more accurate and timely information which in turn stimulates further and more sensible long-term saving for retirement, is the key theme of the regulator right now.
"Yet providers have not fully faced up to their responsibilities around policyholder communications pre-, at-and post-retirement. There is a good deal of confusion about whether the weight of responsibility lies with the IFA or with the provider. There is a great deal of food for thought here for the FSA, or its successor, after the upcoming election."
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