The government has created a nightmare timeframe for defined contribution trustees and should delay the introduction of its pensions reforms, trustee provider PTL urged today
In its Budget last week, the government abolished the requirement to buy an annuity, effective in April 2015. In addition, free, impartial face-to-face guidance guarantees were proposed by Chancellor George Osborne to assist pensioners on their choices at the point of retirement.
But, PTL's managing director Richard Butcher said the announced changes left trustees with little time to prepare, as there was too much to comply with in just over 12 months.
He said: 'Although the principle of [pension changes are] clearly good, it is certainly important that members receive guidance about their retirement options.
'It does, however, leave us trustees with a number of concerns - principally, how on earth we can be expected to comply in that timeframe.'
Butcher continued: 'Come April 2015 we can expect 300,000-400,000 DC retirees this 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 competently in just over 12 months.
'We would urgent 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.'
Later this week, the government is expected to publish measures on its policy reform to ensure 'good quality, value for money' in workplace pension schemes.