Through its Retail Distribution Review (RDR) interim report, the FSA has sent an unequivocal message to the industry: offer truly independent advice or risk being banned from the advisory business altogether.
While the report might have made for uncomfortable reading among the ranks of tied firms and providers alike, the future of the pensions industry is far from bleak. On the contrary, the FSA's wake up call might be just what we needed to revitalise our offering and remuneration systems in time to capitalise on the tremendous opportunities ahead.
There are signs that the pensions market could soon benefit from the most favourable growth conditions witnessed in decades.
The mass of baby boomers are due to retire in the coming years. According to recent research from Watson Wyatt's 'In Retirement report', this generation now own 75% of all accumulated wealth in the UK. The alignment of demographics and a positive industry response to the RDR, combined with a third defining force in the shape of strong product innovation could deliver an unprecedented uptake of pension advice and products.
New business opportunities are within the grasp of dynamic pension providers and financial advisers provided that they use market intelligence to sharpen their offering.
We have insight into how different generations think and feel about investing and retirement. Generational research findings should inform how we address our audiences, so we can shape their attitudes today and tomorrow and truly assist them in preparing for a better retirement.
Together we can help bed in an improved model advisory service, set up new professional qualifications and lay the foundations for a single self-regulating professional body. The more vocal we are about our commitment to progress, the more support we may receive from the government because however wanted, great change cannot happen overnight.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Q2 net sales dropped almost 50%
‘Important to have an anchor’
Lack of innovation for solutions