LCP and Royal London have produced a joint report on
HELPING DB MEMBERS MAKE BETTER RETIREMENT DECISIONS:
THE ROLE OF SCHEMES, ADVISERS, REGULATORS AND GOVERNMENT
The Main findings are
The LCP Breakfast Briefing
I had the pleasure of visiting my old friends at LCP at (for me) their new offices in Wigmore Street. LCP are good guys, a true partnership focussing on problems that brainy actuaries can solve.
There were two brilliant presentations, the slides for which have been shared and can be accessed here
The room was packed- even at 8.30am on a late August morning! Some said it was to hear Steve Webb but most of the people I met were here as trustees or sponsors of DB schemes – keen to do more for their members.
Jonathan Camfield and Steve Webb whizzed through their presentations with great aplomb and we could have had an hour’s worth of questions. I haven’t been so engaged since the Great Pension Transfer Debate we had in Peterborough earlier this summer
The bulk of the briefing (and the paper) explored the explosion of transfer activity,
the increase in the take up of quotes
and the increasing size of average pots
Linked to the older demographic of transferors
Royal London findings
Steve Webb of Royal London presented their survey of 800 financial advisers. It confirmed the findings of LCP and found distribution of CETVs as a multiple of pension given up to be averaging on 25-30 times
Steve Webb was very keen to point out the sophistication of the decision making.
I wasn’t convinced that the reasons IFAs found for people transferring were typical of all those who transfer. IFAs tend to deal with the wealthier members, many small transfers will be for debt clearance and purchase of consumer durables.
The people I am more used to talking to , would rather discuss pensions with Martin Lewis or at the Citizens Advice Bureau with an IFA, I reckon most would be overjoyed to have enough money in the bank not to have to worry about the next utility.
Steve knows these people, they hang around Thornbury and Yate in great numbers. I am sure they miss him as an MP as much as we miss him as a Pension Minister.
I am quite sure that Steve’s average constituent would not have quite those reasons to transfer!
Which brings us on to ….
The majority of Steve Webb’s presentation was taken up with a call to make partial transfers mandatory (like CETVs),
LCP were keen to distance themselves from this and suggested it might become best practice when TPR publish new guidance to coincide with the outcome of the FCA’ Retirement Income Review.
I sat next to the FCA representative at the event (we talked about the impact of the Scally judgement and whether employers and trustees were at risk of being sued by staff for not advertising early retirement options.
I got the impression that partial transfers are not particularly high on anyone’s list of priorities. They will join the post 2020 Brexit policy queue.
IMHO we would be better served campaigning for the right to take tax free cash from a DB scheme at any time after 55 (and independently of the taking of the pension). Frankly that is the one pension freedom that isn’t on offer – and should be!
After the breakfast meeting , I had the chance to chat to Jonathan, my old friend Bart and several others.
It was really good to meet with such good people who – while sadly not working for my own firm – sing from the same hymn sheet! I am hugely proud to work with First Actuarial, but if I ever worked for another consultancy – it would be one with the value set of LCP.
Many thanks to them and Royal London for a splendid, thought provoking and genuinely inspirational report and briefing,