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Industry Insights

Read the latest financial industry insights, hand-picked by the Wealth of Advice team… 

Providers still demand advice on sub-£30k DB transfers

Providers’ requirements for advice to be carried out on sub-£30,000 defined benefit transfers are affecting savers amid a shrinking market, experts have warned. Concerns were raised after research by FTAdviser showed more receiving schemes now require advice on small DB transfers than three years ago, despite this not being a regulatory requirement. Industry experts warned it was already “incredibly difficult” for savers to get advice on large DB transfers as the advice market shrinks each...

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Funds put into responsible investments quadruple in 2020

Investors have plunged nearly four times the amount of cash into responsible investment funds in 2020 that they did last year, latest data has shown. Figures from the Investment Association published today showed responsible investment funds saw net flows of £7.1bn in the nine months to September this year — 275 per cent more than the £1.9bn measured in the first three quarters of 2019. In September alone, responsible investments funds saw net inflows of nearly £1bn and total assets in...

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Alarm bells sounded after 1,000 FCA scam warnings

Alarm bells have been sounded as the number of scam warnings issued by the Financial Conduct Authority have surpassed 1,000 this year. The number of warnings, which are published on the regulator's website, peaked in the final week of September when the City watchdog listed 43 scams, clones and unauthorised firms in just seven days. According to data collated by consultancy the Lang Cat, the FCA has issued 1003 warnings in the 43 weeks to the end of October. It comes amid increasing concern...

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Call for annual pension guidance checks

Stephen Timms, chairman of the Work and Pensions committee, has submitted an amendment to the Pension Schemes Bill which would see savers near retirement contacted each year until a guidance appointment has been made. In the amendment, Mr Timms says members should be contacted five years before retirement age with a scheduled date and time for a pensions guidance appointment, or the option to reschedule or defer this appointment. The saver would then be contacted every year until guidance has...

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Pension withdrawals fall as savers remain cautious

Pension withdrawals fall as savers remain cautious Savers have refrained from raiding their pension pots and taking withdrawals at unsustainable levels, with HM Revenue and Customs seeing a 7 per cent drop in average withdrawal levels during the pandemic. Data published by HMRC showed the average amount withdrawn per individual throughout July, August and September 2020 was £6,700, a 7 per cent decrease from the £7,200 seen during the same months in 2019. A total £2.3bn was withdrawn from...

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Everyday life a ‘barrier’ to seeking pension advice

Savers feel as though they are too preoccupied with day to day life to be able to seek advice on their pensions, research has found. A report from the Department for Work and Pensions on how savers' navigate decumulation found many avoid seeking both advice and guidance because they do not want the stress, anxiety or burden of going through the process. This could be because they are living with health conditions or dealing with other stressful situations, such as divorce. But others said...

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Government mulls banning property funds from ISAs

The government is proposing a ban on new investments into open-ended property funds held within ISAs if the changes to the funds’ redemption period floated by the City watchdog go ahead. In a consultation paper published yesterday, HM Revenue and Customs said it was considering allowing existing investments in property funds to remain within the ISA but prohibiting the inclusion of ‘new’ investments in such funds. The potential problem of open-ended property funds in ISAs stems from the...

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Government to tighten guidance rules for accessing pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions plans to require providers of workplace pensions to signpost guidance whenever savers look to access or transfer their pots. The regulations will require trustees and managers of occupational schemes to present taking pension guidance as a “natural” part of the process when looking to access or transfer a pension. At the point in which a saver indicates they would need to take guidance, providers will be expected to incorporate booking an appointment with...

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Pension recovery stalls as fund growth falls below 2%

Pension funds have recovered much of their ground lost during Covid-19 but their progress has hit a bump with the average fund growing less than 2 per cent in Q3, according to latest data. Data from Moneyfacts, published today, showed the average pension fund recovered just 1.7 per cent during the third quarter of 2020, considerably below the strong growth of 13.3 per cent seen in the previous quarter (Q2 2020). Due to this, pension funds are on average 2.6 per cent lower than at the start of...

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Four out of five UK adults don’t have a ‘pension will’

Four out of five UK adults say they have never completed a nominated beneficiary or expression of wish form to nominate who should receive their pension on their passing, according to new insight from Canada Life. Not completing an expression of wish form can lead to delays in trustees making payments to beneficiaries, and in the worst-case scenario it could lead to the wrong beneficiaries receiving payment. Andrew Tully, Technical Director at Canada Life, said: “An expression of wish form is...

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