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Pensions - Intermediary Focus - UK - January 2014

“Many companies offer their employees the opportunity to enrol in some form of pension scheme, but relatively few back this up with the supply of financial advice or education. The closer ties advisers are developing with employers due to pension auto-enrolment provide a significant opportunity to work with companies to develop employer-based advice services.”

– George Zaborowski, Senior Analyst – Financial Services

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Will advisers be able to hang on to the independent label?
  • What is the long-term opportunity of auto-enrolment for advisers?
  • Is mass-market annuity business worth chasing?

One year on from the official introduction of the RDR (Retail Distribution Review), the advisory community has shown itself to be resilient. After falling considerably prior to the introduction of the new rules, official figures have revealed a post-RDR rebound in adviser numbers. What’s more, nearly all advisers are now fully qualified under the more stringent standards. That said, life has hardly become easier for advisers under the new regulatory regime. In its first thematic review of the adoption of the RDR, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has found that some firms are not properly complying with the new rules and has warned that it will enforce compliance for any firm found falling short of their requirements. This increased regulatory scrutiny is likely to lead to further consolidation among adviser firms, and also to a significant rise in the number of firms operating a restricted adviser model.

In addition to having to deal with the significant changes in the way they can run their business, pension advisers need to adjust to a new reality created by the introduction of workplace pension auto-enrolment. In 2014, auto-enrolment enters a new stage in its phased introduction and will impact thousands of small and medium-sized business. This is opening up significant opportunities, as well as unanticipated challenges, for pension advisers.

In this report Mintel examines how the pension advice market is being impacted by continually evolving market conditions. The report explores the key factors driving the market for pension advice as well as how recent regulatory and legislation changes are affecting the way advisers conduct their business. The size of the advice market, key financial advice firms and adviser market shares in each segment of the pension market are also presented. In addition, the report presents the findings of Mintel’s latest IFA (Independent Financial Adviser) survey, conducted by NMG. The research considers adviser business models, the key challenges being faced by the industry, expected business performance and views about the longer-term impact of auto-enrolment on pension intermediaries.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Abbreviations
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Adviser numbers have started to rebound post-RDR
              • Figure 1: Adviser numbers, 31 December 2012 and 10 January 2014
            • Adviser share of individual pension business
              • Adviser share of workplace pension business
                • Adviser share of retirement income business
                  • Market factors
                    • First FCA thematic review uncovers RDR growing pains
                      • Nearly all advisers have met the new qualification standards
                        • Auto-enrolment boosting demand for pension advice
                          • Workplace pension charge cap proposed
                            • Companies, brands and innovation
                              • Advice market dominated by large adviser firms
                                • Technology helping advisers to take advantage of emerging opportunities
                                  • The adviser
                                    • Most advisers still run an independent business model
                                      • Figure 2: Current adviser business model, November 2013
                                    • Low priority given to retirement savings seen as the key challenge
                                      • Figure 3: Top seven challenges facing pension intermediaries, November 2013
                                    • Most IFAs expect to grow or maintain new pension business in 2014
                                      • Figure 4: New pensions business expectations for the coming year, November 2012 vs. November 2013
                                    • RDR continues to be a thorn in the side of advisers
                                      • Figure 5: Perceived impact of regulatory and other market developments on own business over the next 12 months, in order of positive influence, November 2013
                                    • Advisers unsure if auto-enrolment will lead to more demand for advice
                                      • Figure 6: Perceived long-term impact of auto-enrolment on intermediaries, November 2013
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                        • Will advisers be able to hang on to the independent label?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • The less obvious long-term opportunity of auto-enrolment for advisers
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Is mass-market annuity business worth chasing?
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                        • Trend Application

                                                          • Web-based advisory services helping advisers reach the mass market
                                                            • Overcoming the auto-enrolment capacity crunch
                                                              • The ageing population creates a windfall for pension advisers
                                                              • Regulatory Context

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • The effect of the RDR
                                                                    • Summary of RDR changes
                                                                      • Figure 7: Summary of the key requirements for the retail investment market, pre- and post- RDR, January 2014
                                                                    • FCA thematic review uncovers early RDR implementation growing pains
                                                                      • FCA further elaborates on the distinction between independent and restricted advice
                                                                        • Adoption of the restricted adviser model could rise over next few years
                                                                          • FCA cites room for improvement in the disclosure of adviser charging
                                                                            • Only a minority of advisers have not yet obtained full qualifications
                                                                              • Figure 8: Number of advisers as of 31 July 2013
                                                                            • New capital adequacy rules have been deferred until December 2017
                                                                              • DWP has proposed a cap on workplace pension charges
                                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Ageing population pushing up demand for retirement planning advice
                                                                                    • Figure 9: UK population, by age, 2010-35 (2010-based projections)
                                                                                  • Auto-enrolment increasing the need for workplace pension advice…
                                                                                    • …but individual pension business prospects have been damaged
                                                                                      • DIY financial management becoming more commonplace
                                                                                        • More than a quarter say they prefer to receive advice via their PC
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Preferred channels for financial advice, May 2013
                                                                                        • Less than a fifth of companies offer financial advice to their staff
                                                                                          • Figure 11: Proportion of employers offering benefits to all employees, 2009 and 2013
                                                                                        • Low annuity rates make retirement income advice more vital than ever…
                                                                                          • …but most annuity sales are non-advised
                                                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Technology being developed help firms meet auto-enrolment obligations
                                                                                                • SimplyBiz introduces SimplyEnrol to help smooth the auto-enrolment advice process
                                                                                                  • ‘Good to go’ from Standard Life assists advisers with auto-enrolment for SMEs
                                                                                                    • ‘Littleblue’ the pension and auto-enrolment solution for SMEs from Lorica
                                                                                                      • Monibox.co.uk aims to fill the mass-market advice gap
                                                                                                        • Penguin Wealth to launch free web-based pension advice service
                                                                                                        • Adviser Market Size

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • A post-RDR rebound in adviser numbers
                                                                                                              • Figure 12: Adviser numbers, estimated 2012 and actual December 2012, July 2013 and January 2014
                                                                                                            • Adviser numbers could rise further
                                                                                                              • Retail investment adviser numbers fell by a fifth between 2010 and 2012
                                                                                                                • Figure 13: Size of the retail investment adviser (RIA) population, by firm type, 2010-12
                                                                                                              • Decline in the number of directly authorised firms halted in 2012
                                                                                                              • Adviser Share of Individual Pension Business

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • New adviser model categories now in effect
                                                                                                                    • Individual pension regular premiums
                                                                                                                      • Three quarters of regular premiums sold with advice
                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Share of new individual pensions (regular premiums), by distribution channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Total value of new individual pension business – regular premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                      • Over half of individual stakeholder pensions sold direct or via restricted advice
                                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Total new individual pension business – by value of regular premiums, sales channel breakdown, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                      • Individual pension single premiums
                                                                                                                        • Independent advisers generated more than £10 billion in new single-premium sales in 2013
                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Total new individual pensions – single premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Total value of new individual pension business – single premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                        • Independent advisers dominate single-premium SIPP and personal pension business
                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Total new individual pension business – by value of single premiums, sales channel breakdown, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                      • Adviser Share of Workplace Pension Business

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Advisers central to the distribution of workplace pensions
                                                                                                                            • Trust-based occupational pension schemes
                                                                                                                              • Regular premiums
                                                                                                                                • Just over half of all new regular-premium business was non-advised in 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Total new trust-based pensions business – regular premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Total value of new trust-based pension business – regular premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                • 82% of TIPs sales were non-advised in 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Total new trust-based pension business – by value of regular premiums, sales channel breakdown, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                • Single premiums
                                                                                                                                  • Advisers hold a slight edge over the non-advised channel
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Total new trust-based pensions – single premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Total new trust-based pension business – single premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Large majority of new DB and DC single premiums sold via non-advised channels
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Total new trust-based pension business – by value of single premiums, sales channel breakdown, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                  • Contract-based GPP and company stakeholder schemes
                                                                                                                                    • Regular premiums
                                                                                                                                      • £3.3 billion of total £3.9 billion in regular premiums generated by independent advisers
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Share of new contract-based workplace pension business (regular premiums), by distribution channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Total value of new contract-based workplace pension business – regular premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Two in five company stakeholder regular premiums sold direct or via restricted advice
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Total new contract-based workplace pension business – by value of regular premiums, sales channel breakdown, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                      • Single premiums
                                                                                                                                        • Large majority of single-premium business sold via independent advisers
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Total new contract-based workplace pension business – by value of single premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Total value of new contract-based workplace pension business – single premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                      • Adviser Share of Retirement Income Business

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Annuities
                                                                                                                                            • More than half of annuity sales were non-advised in 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Total new annuity premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Total value of new annuity pension business, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Income drawdown
                                                                                                                                              • Nine in 10 income drawdown sales are via an independent adviser
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Total new drawdown premiums, by sales channel, by volume and value, 2013 (est)*
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Total value of new drawdown premiums, by distribution channel, 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Adviser Firm Rankings

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Large advisory firms dominate the market
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Top 20 financial adviser firms in the UK based on gross sales, 1 October 2012-30 September 2013
                                                                                                                                                • Most pension and retirement income business goes via adviser networks
                                                                                                                                                  • RDR continues to drive consolidation activity
                                                                                                                                                    • Note on Matrix Solutions data
                                                                                                                                                    • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                                      • Sesame Bankhall Group
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Key financial data for Sesame Bankhall Group Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Openwork
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Key financial data for Openwork Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Hargreaves Lansdown PLC
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Key financials for Hargreaves Lansdown, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Brewin Dolphin
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Key financials for Brewin Dolphin Ltd, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Key interim financials for Brewin Dolphin, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Retirement planning solution advertising directed at advisers has waned
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Advertising expenditure relating to financial advice and intermediaries, by sub-category, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Scottish Widows the leading advertiser to pension intermediaries
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Top 10 advertisers in the intermediary pensions and retirement income sub-categories, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                • Nearly all advertising is done through the press
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Proportional distribution of advertising expenditure on pensions and retirement income advice, by media type, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                              • Adviser Business Models

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • About Mintel’s financial advice research
                                                                                                                                                                    • Large majority of advisers operate an independent model
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Current adviser business model, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Regulatory demands of independent status may prove too onerous
                                                                                                                                                                    • Key Challenges and New Pension Business Prospects

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Low priority given to retirement savings viewed as the main issue
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Biggest challenges facing pension intermediaries, November 2012 and November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Attracting mass-market clients the second-biggest challenge
                                                                                                                                                                          • 83% of IFAs expect to grow or maintain new business levels in 2014
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: New pensions business expectations for the coming year, November 2012 vs. November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Impact of Regulatory and Economic Developments

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Advisers positive about consumer confidence in shares and housing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Perceived impact of regulatory and other market developments on own business over the next 12 months, in order of positive influence, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Advisers divided in their opinions on the effect of the RDR
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Perceived impact of the RDR on own business over the next 12 months, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                            • Two in five advisers now feel positive about auto-enrolment
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Perceived impact of auto-enrolment on own business over the next 12 months, 2011-13
                                                                                                                                                                            • Positive sentiment about investment conditions is highest in five years
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Perceived impact of consumer confidence in stock market-based investments on own business over the next 12 months, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Perceived impact of consumer confidence in the housing market on own business over the next 12 months, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                            • Fewer think the financial industry’s reputation will have an adverse effect
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Perceived impact of financial industry’s reputation on own business over the next 12 months, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                                                          • Expected Long-term Impact of Pension Auto-Enrolment

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Auto-enrolment seen as primarily benefiting workplace pension business
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Perceived long-term impact of auto-enrolment on intermediaries, November 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Longer-term impact in other areas less certain
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Adviser Share of Individual Pension Business

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Total new individual pension business – regular premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Total new individual pension business – single premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Adviser Share of Occupational Pension Business

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Total new insurer-administered occupational pension business – regular premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Total insurer-administered occupational – single premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Adviser Share of Retirement Income Business

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: New pension annuity premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: New income drawdown premiums, by sales channel, 2008-12

                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                              • Aegon UK
                                                                                                                                                                              • Aviva Plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • AXA UK plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Barclays Bank plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC
                                                                                                                                                                              • Countrywide Assured Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Hargreaves Lansdown Plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Just Retirement Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                              • Legal & General Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                              • LV=
                                                                                                                                                                              • MetLife, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Openwork
                                                                                                                                                                              • Premier Mortgage Services
                                                                                                                                                                              • Prudential plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Sesame Bankhall Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                              • Simply Biz plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Skandia UK
                                                                                                                                                                              • Zurich Financial Services

                                                                                                                                                                              Pensions - Intermediary Focus - UK - January 2014

                                                                                                                                                                              £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)