It looks like plenty of us are
— Tess Page (@Tess_invests) September 16, 2021
While #ConsultationFatigue isn’t trending, conversations at yesterday’s Pension Age conference around the TPR/FCA Discussion Paper drew furrowed brows and frustrated expletives in the regulator’s general direction.
The VFM DP has 24 questions (they’re at the bottom of this blog). That’s a lot of questions and there’s not much incentive to respond at length to a discussion paper. I will be, of course, this is a hugely important area and even if I can move the dial a fraction, I will have thought my response a good expense of time and effort. But for the most part, consultation responses are drafted by committee and represent a consensus view from organizations with an inherent bias to maintaining the status quo. This leads to the view that if you have a personal opinion, you are a maverick, which is why there is so little conviction either in the consultations or in consultation responses.
To break away from this fatiguing round of written consultation and written response, I’m hoping to initiate a dialogue between the DWP, tPR and FCA and the people who don’t normally respond to consultations but who’s views are important. I will be using the Pension PlayPen as a platform to run a Zoom conference on the afternoon of 22nd October where the DWP, FCA and TPR will be able to hear , listen and respond to questions and suggestions from whoever turns up.
I hope people will turn up in the spirit of Andy and Sharon
We have capacity on the call for 200 and I hope that you will put aside some time so you can be part on this critical debate.
I also hope to hear from two panels of potential stakeholders – the first – those who will be required to submit data to the Common Framework and the second, those who can help standardize reports so they become useful not just to the pensions expert but to consumers , keen to combine pension pots into products they can trust.
This is hugely important work, addressing the needs of the millions of non-advised savers who are likely to become non-advised spenders , relying on their savings for a retirement income. These people are left behind in the provision of advice and are the people most at risk of losing out through poor decision making, the use of sub-optimal products and at worst – the attention of scammers.
I do believe we can use the work which DWP/FCA/TPR have done so far, to create a value for money framework and I don’t think this will happen without the input from those who have conviction and the means to speak out. The people who read my blog have both!
Thanks for reading this far- we are producing a free-to-attend web-conference on the afternoon of 22nd October where you will be able to speak to Cosmo Gibson of FCA, Louise Syvier of TPR, Andrew Blair of DWP and we hope representatives of standards and accreditation organizations. This will also be an opportunity to think about the practical application of the framework for IGCs , GAA, Trustees, employers and those of us looking for a framework to combine our pension pots before spending them.