Developments in the retirement market have created new challenges for all customers; challenges that may be more pronounced for those who are potentially vulnerable. The introduction of pension flexibility has added complexity to decisions about when and how to access a pension, and which provider or investment options to choose. The new retirement landscape also requires some customers to make decisions into their 70s and 80s.
In response, the ABI is developing a new industry guide, which sets out principles, good practice and case studies to help providers understand how they can better identify and support vulnerable customers, both at the point of purchase and throughout the life of the product.
Its objective is to act as reference point to help firms improve their own processes for dealing with vulnerability, by learning from their peers and other sectors about what works well when dealing with a vulnerable customer. It also aims to create some commonality within the industry in how customers are treated.
The guide will be published later in the autumn alongside a set of recommendations on commitments to staff training and the implementation of internal vulnerability strategies. We’d like to work with the wider industry so that the guide is used more widely and reflects the challenges you face.
Association of British Insurers policy adviser Henry Thompson