Examination of Witnesses

Part of Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 23rd October 2014.

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Matthew Oakley: Obviously, there is some uncertainty about how it will work in practice. We want to see a three-stage process where you work out how the consumer can get the information they need before the guidance session, ensuring that at the guidance session all the relevant areas of finance are covered so that the consumer leaves that session with an idea of where to take the next steps, to go to an independent financial adviser or to explore a different part of the market.

I guess the concern, particularly with reference to the Bill, is that there will be a proliferation of different types of pension and different types of schemes which might make decisions more complicated for consumers. It is really important that those be explained clearly and that the guidance cover all of those in one pot. Moving  on from there, we would like to see a clear evaluation strategy. I have heard a lot of talk about evaluating the take-up of the guidance guarantee, but I think it needs to go much further than that and evaluate each of the three stages that I outlined: take-up; customer experience of the guarantee itself; and then where people are going afterwards. So, are they taking advice from an IFA, are they just sticking with their pension provider or are they going to another place? It is essential to put that in place quite quickly.