Secondary annuity market: Advice will be required

With three official Budget statements from The Chancellor in 2015 – and pensions being a key political topic – it’s been a long year for workplace savings.

But if you cast your mind back to the March Budget you may recall George Osborne announcing an extension to the Pension Freedoms project. This would allow some of those that have already retired to trade in their regular annuity payments in exchange for a one-off lump sum. Our initial thoughts on this topic were also published in March and can be seen here.

To deliver this major change in one calendar year was always going to be a big ask – particularly with so much political change on the cards and the pensions industry and employers battling to stay on top of various other slices of legislation (auto-enrolment not least). So the timeline for delivery of this ideal is now likely to be April 2017.

And recently the announcement came that mandatory advice will be required before some pensioners are able to make the trade from pension to lump sum. Quite what the threshold for this advice level will be is currently unclear – or indeed what level of advice would be deemed appropriate. Yet it is encouraging that protecting consumers from the fraudsters (or sometimes just from themselves) is being factored into the official thinking here.

We will, of course, comment more on this legislation as it nears finalisation and the full impact for employees (and possibly employers also) is better understood.

For the full original article and other similar posts, please visit the Jelf Group blog.