As part of ongoing work with Just (previously Just Retirement), a specialist retirement income provider, H/Advisors Cicero supported with a public policy campaign to ensure positive outcomes for consumers from the ‘Freedom and Choice’ pension reforms announced in the UK Budget.
Messaging: We argued that better safeguards were needed to ensure consumers were as well informed as possible before making a savings drawdown decision. We worked with Just to develop policy positions to build in these safeguards, including the ‘Second Line of Defence’ (SLD) policy, which would require providers to implement risk warnings for those accessing their pension pots.
Engagement: Next, we co-ordinated an effective, multi-faceted engagement strategy encompassing key Westminster policymakers, including the Work and Pension Select Committee and the shadow policy team, to make the case for the SLD.
FCA: A key focus of this activity was to ensure that Just were plugged into the FCA and specifically the policy team led by Maggie Craig, but also Chris Woolard and David Geale to enable Just to help the regulator understand their business and policy positions on the ‘Freedom and Choice’ pension reforms.
The Work & Pensions Select Committee raised the issue repeatedly with senior FCA officials. Just briefed Parliamentarians throughout the passage of the Pension Schemes Bill, ultimately resulting in Labour’s Shadow Pensions Spokesperson putting forward an amendment to have the measure included in the legislation. The FCA ultimately confirmed that it would introduce a “second line of defence” for customers contacting their pension provider. Just has established a relationship with the FCA and is now involved in the regulators industry stakeholder communication and consultation.