"The triage being proposed for DB transfers excludes any professional assessment and is closer to self-diagnosis through Google."
Aegon has warned the FCA that its draft guidance on triage for DB transfers places ‘considerable limitations’ on its likely effectiveness and is calling for a more creative approach to focus on what can, rather than can’t be done within guidance.
In the FCA's latest consultation paper CP18/7, it illustrates how firms can carry out an appropriate triage service (an initial conversation with potential customers) without stepping across the advice boundary, by providing generic, balanced information on the merits of pension transfers.
However Aegon has called for a ‘can do’ creative approach to triage services for customers considering seeking advice on DB transfers.
It has lobbied for the FCA to formalise a triage approach saying it would be beneficial for both advisers and customers to be able to ‘cut short’ the process, saving time and money and allowing the limited supply of advice to focus on customers more likely to benefit from transferring.
Aegon has also come out in support of FCA exploring how it can allow contingent charges to continue.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “In medical terms, ‘triage’ involves a professional assessing an individual’s circumstances and determining next steps and their priority. But the triage being proposed for DB transfers excludes any professional assessment and is closer to self-diagnosis through Google.
“We are calling for the FCA to explore what more advisers can offer within guidance to help customers reach an early decision. It’s positive that the FCA has set out a non-exhaustive list of considerations for advisers and we’d like to explore if this could be turned into a standardised traffic lights guide for consumers wondering if it’s worth their while seeking advice. This could be promoted by advisers, quidance bodies and trustees.”