Prosperis has committed itself to advise on Pension Transfers at the Gold Standard. While this affords great satisfaction, the significance is what it offers to our clients and how we use this to promote best practice.
The complexity of the pension landscape continues to present challenges to financial advisers and consumers alike. Whilst many people have been positively affected by the introduction of pension freedoms, it has also resulted in unintended and negative consequences, particularly in respect of defined benefit pensions.
You may be aware of the recent high-profile case of the British Steel Defined Benefit Crisis. Financial advisers were involved in transactions that saw more than 800 steelworkers trading their guaranteed pensions for a cash lump sum and transfer to other schemes, in many cases ones that had a higher risk profile. This and other matters have damaged consumer confidence in the reputation of those giving financial advice.
What does this mean?
In response, the Personal Finance Society have launched The Pension Transfer Gold Standard. The Gold Standard is a voluntary code of good practice for Safeguarded and Defined Benefit Pension Transfer advice, based around a set of principles. Firms can adopt this standard by adhering to these principles. Consumers can be more confident they are dealing with a firm that is going beyond the minimum requirements when giving financial advice.
What are the principles?
- Helping clients understand when advice is appropriate
- Ensuring advice given supports the client’s overall wellbeing in the context of their stated objectives
- Ensuring client understanding and acceptance of all charges
- Ensuring the most appropriate and updated technical skills are applied
- Transparent management of Conflicts of Interest
- Helping clients understanding the cost of transferring benefits
- Avoiding unregulated investments and introducers*
- Transparency in advice processes and outcomes
- Promoting the Consumer Guide to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard
What to expect from us?
Here at Prosperis we are delighted to be part of this initiative and see it as a huge step in the direction of restoring consumer faith in the industry. Abiding by these principles has always been part of our approach to pension transfers so adopting these principles has been low impact for us. We will do everything possible to raise consumer awareness, empowerment and redress the knowledge imbalance between firms giving advice and consumers seeking this. We welcome any initiative, such as this, that drives up standards and improves the reputation of the profession.