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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a741964

Pensions shock creates major opportunity for wealth & fund firms

by Dylan Lobo on Mar 20, 2014 at 14:49

As part of his pensions overhaul, the chancellor said those with DC schemes would be offered free impartial face-to-face advice - a move that will be enforced by law.

'The government will ensure that, from April 2015, all individuals with defined contribution pension pots are offered free and impartial face-to-face guidance at the point of retirement and will make available up to £20 million in the next two years to develop this initiative,’ he told parliament.

BlackRock's head of UK retail Tony Stenning welcomed the plan.  

'It is great to see that the government plans to give people with defined contribution pension pots free and impartial financial advice. We all know that we are living longer, but planning and factoring the effects of this into retirement means that the need for advice has never been so strong.' 

He added: ‘Only 20% of 65 – 74 year olds currently receive professional financial advice. But almost a third of this age group [29%] said that they would encourage people starting to save for retirement to seek professional financial advice, and an overwhelming 98% of those who took advice were satisfied with it.’

Middleton and Richards described the initiative as ‘extremely important’ one, favouring those companies which can offer advice.

‘[However], this is a complex topic, and many investors, especially those with larger AUM and more complicated affairs, may welcome significant additional throughout their retirement period,’ the pair said.

‘So wealth managers, private banks and other retail advisers are likely to have an opportunity to offer new planning services as result of the changes.’

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