Pitmans Trustees Ltd (PTL), a leading independent trustee and governance services provider, today accused the government of creating a timeframe nightmare for DC trustees.
Commenting, Richard Butcher, Managing Director of PTL, said; “In its budget consultation the Government has proposed that every DC retiree after April 2015 will be given access to free, face-to-face, impartial, guidance which is of a consistently good quality and that will follow a set of robust standards. It is proposed that trustees will be the ones obliged to deliver this “guidance guarantee”.
“Although the principle of this is clearly good, it is certainly important that members receive guidance about their retirement options. It does, however, leaves us trustees with a number of concerns – principally, how on earth we can be expected to comply in that time frame.”
He continued; “It is not clear to me who will pay for this guidance, nor who will define the ‘robust standards’ or measure its quality. More significantly, I have no idea who will be able to provide it. Come April 2015 we can expect 300,000-400,000 DC retirees a year. It will take, I estimate, at least 1,000 guides to help these people. Where will they come from? If we do manage to find them they will each need to be knowledgeable and to have been demonstrably trained on robust standards that have yet to be defined. This is simply too much to do compete in just over 12 months. We would urge the government to consider a later introduction date. Yes, it will cost some members. But the risk of not doing so is an incompetent system which lets many more down.”