“Pension freedoms changed the landscape of retirement savings and the impacts are still reverberating across the nation three years later. It’s of little surprise that the FCA’s agenda has been chock full of initiatives and analysis relating to pensions and retirement. As we settle into the reality of pension freedoms, regulation and legislation will continue to be finessed, but as an industry we need to focus on the elephant in the room, the worrying lack of engagement and education around pensions.
“Andrew Bailey’s speech emphasises that pension freedoms should not be a total ‘free for all’ and while the FCA will continue to look at steps they can take to ensure customers have the best possible chance of prosperity in retirement, regulation can only go so far. There are some crucial elements still lacking from the retirement equation – professional financial help and innovation. Improving these areas does not mean we need to reinvent the wheel. Bailey has rightly called for progress on initiatives that are already underway, or indeed completed. For instance, substantial work was taking as part of the Financial Advice Market Review, but we have still seen limited output to date. Similarly, the pension dashboard saga continues to roll own. The dashboard could harness the power of technology to simplify how people manage their pension savings. The project is now in the hands of the providers with support from the government. However, more clarity is needed on what the dashboard will actually look like and how the government will help ‘facilitate it’.”