Why IFA’s have nothing to fear and everything to gain!



This morning I am chairing Money Marketing’s AE Invitational in Swindon.

These will be my opening comments to the audience of invited IFAs who I’m looking forward to spending the morning with.


” When I started selling insurance, LAPR was about to be abolished, people said it would be the end of financial advice. Three years later A-day introduced polarisation -more dire threats, What followed was the imposition of maximum commission agreements, the abolition of maximum commission agreements, the introduction of Stakeholder Pensions, the demise of Stakeholder Pensions and then RDR.

With RDR came auto-enrolment and with it the OFT and the DWP Command Paper which will bring more change to the distribution of pensions from April 2015 and again in April 2016.

What hasn’t changed is the IFA. Evidence of which is facing me as I speak to you this morning. It’s good to see so many faces – so many familiar faces – over 30 years since I kicked off in this industry.

Much of what I learned about pensions and advice, I learned in Swindon with Hambro Life and Allied Dunbar.

But while we can congratulate ourselves for surviving, many of our colleagues have not. Those IFAs who are practicing today are better informed and work to a higher standard than I could have ever imagined when I was a practitioner.

Working for an actuarial practice, I see very high standards of work , but working with IFAs as we do, I realise that there is no longer a gap in professional standards. Indeed we are now informed in what we do by the work you do, particularly in the areas of financial education, guidance and above all, in understanding how small businesses work- and how they want to be advised.

As we move into the second half of the auto-enrolment staging cycle, we need to recognise that the skill and knowledge rests not with those speaking today, but with the advisers of the 1.2m employers still to stage auto-enrolment.

The change that is to come, will see the pendulum of power swing back in the direction of the Independent Financial Adviser and other small businesses. Change is your friend.

So I hope this morning, the people in this room will regard today as a workshop where your skills can be shared with the representatives of the organisations presenting today.

If that happens, then this AE invitational event will be a great success and everyone from The Pension Regulator to the least experienced advisers, will take away from today’s event, things they can use in their day to day work.

We may be over 2 years into the auto-enrolment cycle, we may have seen 4m new people contribute their own money into workplace pensions, but the second half of the task, as I’m sure you will hear from our speakers, is going to be a lot tougher.

So without more ado, let’s get on with the job in the hand!


This blog first appeared in http://www.pensionplaypen.com

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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