A larger-than-usual increase in pension sales in the final three months of last year suggests a "push for commission" among financial advisers, according to research consultancy Fundscape.
Flows into pensions on platforms hit £4bn in the final quarter before RDR: a third of all new money and an increase from £3.2bn in the previous three months.
Though Fundscape said pension sales often rise in Q4, its managing director, Bella Caridade-Ferreira, noted the spike was higher in 2012 than in previous years.
"Gross and net flows fell in Q3 because advisers were getting their heads down before RDR [the Retail Distribution Review]," she said.
"Equally in Q4 we saw a push into pensions, but this time it is the last chance to sell to people and get some commission-based business.
"You can also reduce [a client's] tax liability by putting some money into your pension, because it is going to be removed in April. It's a compelling story to sell alongside your push for commission."
The implementation of RDR on 31 December 2012 heralded the end of commission payments from product providers to distributors on retail investment products.
However, any trail commission due to advisers on business written prior to the RDR is allowed to remain indefinitely, unless new advice is given that affects the contract.
Last month, analysts from HSBC speculated that the popularity of balanced funds in November and December may imply attempts by advisers to maximise their commission income pre-RDR.
It argued that, given balanced funds are, theoretically, less likely to underperform, clients were less likely to request a switch, allowing the adviser to keep the trail income for longer.
The suggestion was ridiculed by advisers.
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Via The Exchange
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