In April The Annuity Exchange was chosen to build and run the Pension Income Choice Association's (PICA) adviser directory. Helen Morrissey speaks to chairman Stuart Bayliss about the project and how it will help people choose a more appropriate retirement income strategy
How did you get involved with the project?
I have been involved with PICA since the first meeting. We had a portal even then but as time went on the idea was formed of producing a list of advisers that people could search through. We pitched for the work along with other parties and were awarded the contract. The idea is that people will be able to complete a form and send it to the IFA of their choice. I think this will have significant benefits for both the consumer and advisers.
The key thing is that we didn’t want people to be overwhelmed by the service and the site we are building is user friendly. However, while a list of advisers is just a list the site will not be static by any means and we will evolve it over time.
We believe the service will be useful for everyone – not just those with small funds. Whether people want a guided or full advice process they can register on the site and get a list of people who are able to help. In the second version of the site you will be able to select your favourite advisers from the list.
It is a resource and people will be able to have a look at the list ahead of their retirement date to get a sense of what support is available to them. They can register with the site and return whenever they need to- it’s all about ease of use.
So when are you looking to launch the service?
Our plan has gone to the Financial Conduct Authority, Association of British Insurers and the Financial Services Consumer Panel.If it gets approved then we hope to launch sometime over the summer. It won’t take a lot of time to get it up and running once this happens.
The key thing is to make sure the process works well for the customer. We decided that we didn’t want to make quality judgements ourselves. The only judgemental part of the list is if members make claims that they don’t deliver on.
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