Nationwide Building Society has suspended offering pensions advice due to uncertainty around the retail distribution review (RDR) readiness of its pensions proposition.
Any Nationwide customer requiring pensions advice will be referred to an independent financial adviser for the time being, although the building society is planning to recruit a further 100 advisers next year.
The company has withdrawn the L&G (UTM) Stakeholder Pension Plan it offers through its branch advisers as it cannot facilitate adviser charging.
Guy Simmonds, Nationwide head of product, protection and investments, said the company hoped to have an RDR-ready pension proposition in place by early 2013.
‘We have had to sacrifice the pension proposition at the moment,’ he said. ‘Given the regulatory uncertainty on pensions we wanted to confirm what our requirements were.’
‘In the meantime we can’t advise on pensions, we’re circling back on the project timeline and have things to assess,’ he said.
Simmonds said he was 'putting pressure' on his business analysts to find a solution but wanted to develop a proposition which would work under the RDR, meet auto-enrolment needs, and be flexible enough to with stand changes in pensions regulation.
Simmonds said that the building society planned to grow from 460 advisers to ‘north of 550’ next year and planned to roll out its restricted RDR proposition over the course of this month.
He said Nationwide planned to charge 3% initial fees and 0.5% for ongoing advice after the RDR.
For pensions advice customers will be referred to website Unbiased.co.uk.