Fifty-six per cent of advisers support an enabling of an effective triage process by the FCA for clients considering seeking advice on DB transfers, and there is also strong support for a continued contingent charging option, including among firms not offering DB transfer advice.
According to the latest research published by Aegon, just 21 per cent of advisers are against the continued charging option.
The aim of a triage service is to offer information and guidance to clients considering seeking advice on DB transfers, without this being classed as a personal recommendation.
Aegon has proposed to the FCA a ‘traffic lights’ form of triage which advice firms and scheme trustees could then offer to individuals. Clients would ‘ask themselves’ a series of questions, with each answer being given a red, amber or green ‘score’. Individuals with mostly green scores would be told they might benefit from seeking advice, while a number of red scores would indicate advice might not be worth taking.
Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron said: “Advice on DB transfers is complex and inevitably comes at a significant cost. With the FCA continuing to stress that for most people, transferring will not be suitable, it’s important that advisers can help clients identify whether or not it is likely to be worth their while seeking advice. This will save some clients money and allow advisers to concentrate on advising those for whom transferring is more likely to be beneficial. Our research shows that advisers agree with Aegon that it’s important for the FCA to enable an effective form of triage.
“We’re pleased the FCA has so far kept an open mind on whether contingent charging can continue for DB transfer advice. Our research shows advisers, whether or not active in this market, support some form of contingent charging continuing. It’s vital that the FCA avoids measures which will further widen the advice gap in a market where demand for advice far exceeds supply.”