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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Retirement advice: three times as many over 55s would take up independent guidance

Press release: 11/06/2014

  • 80% of people support the Government’s proposed free retirement guidance
  • Three times as many consumers would attend a session if it was delivered by an impartial organisation than by their existing pensions provider
  • Just a third of Brits would trust financial advice from their pension provider
  • More than twice as many over-55s would act on independent guidance

Research commissioned by retirement specialist LV= reveals that the source of the Government’s proposed guidance service will make a significant difference in terms of consumer take-up.

According to research commissioned by LV= the vast majority (78%) of Britain’s over-55’s are in favour of those approaching retirement having access to free guidance to ensure that they make the most of their pension savings. However, although more than half (52%) of over-55s say that they would attend a guidance session provided by an independent, government-backed, consumer body, only a sixth (17%) would attend a guidance session offered by their existing pension provider when asked to choose between the two.

The research highlights the fact that consumers are more likely to trust and act on retirement guidance provided by an independent body than that provided by their existing pension provider. Less than a fifth (19%) of over-55s say that they would act on guidance provided to them by their pension provider, whereas close to half (48%) would act on guidance from an independent body.

Industry figures indicate that just a fifth of Brits have sought the services of an independent financial adviser. Yet, LV=’s research found that, of those approaching retirement, only 9% say that they would be unlikely to seek regulated financial advice if it was recommended to them in a guidance session.

Richard Rowney, Managing Director of LV= Life and Pensions said: “Those approaching retirement will have even greater choice as to how they take their pension savings from April 2015 and it is important that they are made aware of all the options available to them.

“The findings of this research support the widely held view that, for the guidance to be a success, those approaching retirement need to have trust in the process and the organisation offering the service. It is clear from our research that, in order for this to be achieved, the sessions should be provided by an independent body.

“LV= is committed to improving outcomes for those approaching retirement and in our response to the HMT ‘Freedom and Choice in Pensions’ consultation we have outlined the changes that we believe need to be made to achieve this.”

Below is LV=’s six-point charter which outlines what the business is calling for:

  • Incentives for pensions savings – an assurance that the 25% tax-free commencement lump sum at retirement continues to be available as an incentive to individuals to save in the long-term for a pension;
  • Simplify the regulations around pensions – remove a number of regulatory restrictions to allow product innovation which support the new choices for consumers and enable new products to meet “in retirement” needs;
  • The “guidance guarantee” to be delivered independently and not by incumbent providers and offer clear sign-posting to regulated advice where appropriate;
  • A “regulated advice voucher” funded by industry, to be made available to individuals to ensure best possible outcome for individuals;
  • A restriction on pension providers engaging with customers until they have confirmed they have had guidance or chosen not to take it; and
  • A “pensions passport” to ensure each individual receives consistent and clear information from both the State and their pension providers about their pension to encourage saving, shopping around and to sign-post them to the guidance guarantee.

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For further information please contact:

Addy Frederick 020 8256 6909 / addy.frederick@lv.com

Notes to editors:

Research was by Opinium amongst an online panel of 2004 UK adults over 18s between 3 – 6 June 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

About LV=

LV= employs 5800 people and serves 5.5 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.