DWP wants advisers’ solutions on consultancy charging – Whitfield

The debate on consultancy charges is live and corporate advisers need to seize the moment and make their voices heard says Thomsons Online Benefits chief executive Michael Whitfield.

Whitfield, who was one of the first intermediaries to meet with Department for Work and Pensions officials, says officials are in listening mode and want to hear constructive ideas from the industry.

He urged advisers and providers to act quickly to communicate their best ideas on how consultancy charging could be made to work without seriously depleting auto-enrolment pots.

Robert Reid, director of Syndaxi Financial Planning, who is going to see DWP officials on Monday, says advisers and providers need to come up with a workable solution that addresses the government’s concerns over reductions in eligible workers’ pots.

Whitfield says: “The debate is live right now so it is up to advisers and providers to grab this opportunity to shape a structure that will offer something that will facilitate the delivery of pensions going forward.

“DWP officials want to know what sort of services advisers deliver and how low earners can be protected.

“My issue is that there is a direct correlation between member engagement, member contributions and member outcomes If you just automatically enrol everyone into a scheme and they stay at the 8 per cent level then you are not going to get good member outcomes.”