UK’s new guidance body needs to focus on technology

January 24, 2019 Tom Murray

guidance technology financial education SFGB Single Financial Guidance Body

UK’s new guidance body needs to focus on technology The arrival of the Single Financial Guidance Body is a welcome streamlining of the UK Government’s approach to the provision of financial guidance to the general population.  Merging the three existing bodies, the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, into a single organisation brings clarity to the services provided by the government.    Although it has yet to be given its official name – the SFGB being an unwieldy working title – the fact that it doesn’t contain the word advice is a good sign. It shows that the body is aware that the use of the word ‘Advice’ in two of the bodies now making up the service was dangerous and could easily confuse the unwary into thinking they were receiving independent advice.  This would be a good indication that the final name chosen will avoid that trap. 
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Actuarial Post: Stop guiding and give people advice

July 18, 2017 Tom Murray

guidance The future of financial advice Actuarial Post

Stop guiding and give people advice This article was originally commissioned for the July 2017 edition of the Actuarial Post. At first, the prospects for the new pensions minister didn’t look good. A government, without a working majority, and dependent upon a smaller party that was enmeshed in the intricacies of Brexit, didn’t seem to be in a position to sort out the tangled world of long-term savings and provision for the elderly. This was made even more certain by the problems that arose during the election campaign around the whole area of long-term care.
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Pension Wise – Paying more for less

December 21, 2015 Tom Murray

Pensions UK guidance average cost of IFA Life and Pensions

Pension Wise - Paying more for less When George Osborne stood up and accidentally announced that there would be advice given free to all when they reached retirement, so that people would be educated in how to make the most of their new pension freedoms, the Treasury spin doctors leapt into action to clarify the statement. What was meant was guidance, we were told, a cheaper level than advice which would guide people through the options available but definitively not recommend anything to the individuals receiving the guidance.
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Forget robo-advice. Robo-guidance is the answer.

November 02, 2015 Tom Murray

Pensions UK automated guidance guidance pension freedoms

Forget robo-advice. Robo-guidance is the answer. The difficulty of separating out the difference between guidance and advice has caused much anguished discussion in the press ever since the idea of guidance was first mooted after the introduction of pension freedoms. True, advice is too expensive for those with smaller pension pots, but arguably their lack of money means that they are more in need of advice to make sure they don’t make mistakes with the little they have.
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Lovely, Jubbly – pension’s freedoms brings opportunity for the Del Boys

October 24, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK guidance pension freedom del boy

The current spate of pension reform is posited on the idea that pension money is the saver’s own money and that therefore they should be entitled to do what they like with it. However, the ageing population means that supporting people through their old age will become ruinously expensive for the country by the middle of this century. The fact that government is pushing people to save for this very specific reason is being completely ignored in the desire to please the grey vote by giving them full control over their savings.
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Guidance issue is key to pension reform success

July 17, 2014 Tom Murray

lump sum decumulation Pensions UK superannuation

Compared to most other countries, the decumulation sector in the UK is very sophisticated. A wide variety of decumulation options are in place to deal with longevity risk. The danger of outliving your money is the most severe risk faced by the public because when it impacts, the individual is too old to return to income generating activities to compensate. So the availability of conventional annuities, flexible income annuities, deferred annuities and enhanced annuities along with myriad drawdown products optimises the choice for retirees so that they can get suitable financial products for their particular circumstances.
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Don’t mention the ‘A’ word!

June 11, 2014 Tom Murray

Pensions UK guidance Life and Pensions regulation

“And we’re going to introduce a new guarantee, enforced by law, that everyone who retires on these defined contribution pensions will be offered free, impartial, face-to-face advice on how to get the most from the choices they will now have.” (Emphasis mine)
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Actuarial Post: By George, everyone’s an actuary now!

April 28, 2014 Tom Murray

automated PWC Pensions UK guidance

This article was originally commissioned for the April edition of the Actuarial Post.
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