Guest Comment: Giving pensions a platform

There have been sweeping changes in the world of long-term savings in the past few years, particularly with the proliferation of investment platforms who are bringing much-needed competition, choice and ease to both advisers and consumers.

In the Call for Input for its Investment Platforms Market Study, the FCA notes that platforms’ collective assets under administration have grown by more than 400 per cent in less than 10 years.

Platforms are also playing an increasingly vital role in retirement, as consumers exercise their pension freedoms and unlock large amounts of capital that needs a new home.

Just as the market is evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the public, we as an organisation need to evolve, too. That’s why the ABI launched a ‘platform membership’ last year and have since welcomed both Hargreaves Lansdown and Vanguard as ABI members.

As a trade association we’re able to adopt a holistic approach to pension flexibilities with a more diverse member base that is increasingly more representative of the market today.

This will help us to work more closely with investment platforms on issues facing the wider industry, including the timeliness of transfers, access to guidance and advice and the pensions dashboard.

We’re also eager to ensure that regulatory settings afford platforms the flexibility and to continue to respond to customers’ and advisers’ changing needs.

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