Pensions expert Ros Altmann has called for retirees to have access to "specialist basic advice", not unregulated guidance, as several of the pension changes announced at Budget 2014 come into force.
The money currently spent on fees and commissions "just for buying an annuity" could be used to fund specialist basic at-retirement advice, she said, adding funding could also be boosted by government and industry.
The provision of advice and the development of new products are the biggest challenges for policymakers, Altmann said.
"The challenge is to ensure people can access affordable advice that is impartial, independent and not driven by product sales, as well as facilitating new products that are more flexible and adaptable to modern life. Annuities may be right for some people, but not for all," she said.
A number of the pension changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne at Budget 2014 kicked in on Thursday.
These included an increase in the capped drawdown limit from 120% to 150% which, as the government says, will "allow more flexibility to those who would otherwise buy an annuity".
From Thursday, there has also been a reduction in the amount of guaranteed pension income people need in retirement to access their savings flexibly, from £20,000 to £12,000, and an increase in the size of a single pension pot that can be taken as a lump sum, from £2,000 to £10,000.
Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of pension pots of below £10,000 that can be taken as a lump sum, from two to three, as well as an increase in the overall size of pension savings that can be taken as a lump sum - from £18,000 to £30,000.
Two of the more controversial changes of Budget 2014 - the right of savers from age 55 to access their DC pensions by taking a quarter in tax free cash and to draw down the remainder as a lump sum, and the development of a face-to-face 'guidance' service for all retirees - are set to come into force in April next year.
The changes have been welcomed in some quarters, but not by all. Financial planner and advisory business owner Dennis Hall described giving retirees greater access to their pensions as "both foolish and a cynical tax grab".
Read more about Budget 2014 HERE.
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