Corporate advisers expecting at least some RDR regulation

Advisers are expecting at least some elements of the Retail Distribution Review to be extended to the group market, with professional qualifications a likely early candidate.

Andy Cheseldine, consultant at Hewitt Associates says intermediaries should expect at least the professional qualifications element of the RDR to be brought in for corporate intermediaries at some stage, although he says that employee benefits consultants generally already have a higher proportion of qualified staff than IFAs. But he pointed out that although many consultants have actuarial qualifications, they do not have qualifications such as the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate which are to be used as benchmarks in the RDR.
The FSA’s feedback statement postpones until June 2009 any decision on bringing the regulation of group pensions under the remit of the RDR and expresses caution on whether it is right to do so.
Cheseldine says: “The rules say that we don’t have to abide by the RDR but we are working on the basis that they will in the future. Why should customers with pensions sold through the workplace not be offered the same sort of professionalism and protection as those dealt with on an individual basis. The RDR represents best practice, which is what most EBCs are doing already anyway.”