The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) have today urged the Government to make some fundamental decisions quickly to ensure that the guidance guarantee, part of the Government’s wide ranging pension reforms announced in the Budget, can be delivered to meet the April 2015 implementation deadline.
In a joint ABI/NAPF letter sent today to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both organisations warn that delivering the guidance guarantee “will be at significant risk” unless decisions are taken by the Government by July on the following:
- Defining what areas the guidance guarantee will cover and who it will be available to.
- Which organisation /s will deliver the guidance.
- Who will lead in setting up the service and establishing its standards.
- How the funding framework will work.
Otto Thoresen, ABI’s Director General, said: “The guidance guarantee is a crucial part of the Government’s pension reform, and the industry fully supports the Government’s intention to provide free, impartial guidance to savers on their options as from next April.
"But time is not on our side. No one should under-estimate the work that needs to be done to make this a reality, which is why the Government have some urgent decisions to make. We stand ready to help shape the guidance guarantee to make sure it fits well with current retirement communications and systems and delivers value for money.”
Joanne Segars, Chief Executive, NAPF said: “The Budget announcement was nearly three months ago and there remains an unnerving lack of detail from the Government about how the ‘guidance guarantee’ will be delivered. It is clear the success of the Government’s reforms will lie in making sure consumers have access to good impartial guidance so they can make the right decisions about their income for retirement. Key to this will be a clear structure and plan for delivery.
"The consultation does not need to have been completed before the practical delivery of the guidance service can be mapped out and we are calling on the Government to work with us and the small group of stakeholders who will have ultimate responsibility for its delivery, to put this plan in place by the end of July.”
Notes for Editors:
Enquiries toLinsey White, ABI, 020 7216 7415 Mobile: 07885 998 011
Lucy Grubb, NAPF, 020 7601 1726 Mobile: 07713 073023
The ABI is the voice of the UK’s insurance, investment and long-term savings industry. It has over 300 members, which together account for around 90% of premiums in the UK domestic market.
The ABI’s role is to:
- Be the voice of the UK insurance industry, leading debate and speaking up for insurers.
- Represent the UK insurance industry to government, regulators and policy makers in the UK, EU and internationally, driving effective public policy and regulation.
- Advocate high standards of customer service within the industry and provide useful information to the public about insurance.
- Promote the benefits of insurance to the government, regulators, policy makers and the public.
The UK insurance industry is the third largest in the world and the largest in Europe. It is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting to 26% of the UK’s net worth and contributing the fourth highest corporation tax of any sector. Employing over 290,000 people in the UK alone, the insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with 28% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.
Insurance and businesses protect themselves against the everyday risks they face, enabling people to own their own homes, travel overseas, provide for a financially secure future and run businesses. Insurance underpins a healthy and prosperous society, enabling businesses and individuals to thrive, safe in the knowledge that problems can be handled and risks carefully managed. Every day, our members pay out £147 million in benefits to pensioners and long-term savers as well as £60 million in general insurance claims.
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More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.
About the NAPF:
The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,300 pension schemes with some 16 million members and assets of around £900 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.