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Sanlam and WMA want debate on how UK pensions freedoms will impact wealth managers


Sanlam Private Wealth (Sanlam) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA) have joined forces to kick start the debate around pensions freedoms and their implications for wealth managers at a roundtable to be attended by industry leaders.

The event will be held on 5 November and the output will appear in a paper on the debate’s conclusions.
The event will be chaired by academic Dr Paul Cox, of Birmingham University, who recently produced a retirement white paper for Sanlam entitled Helping Consumers and Providers Manage Defined Contribution Wealth in Retirement. The report looked in detail at longevity, wealth and risk as well as the array of solutions currently available in the market.
Attendees will discuss the implications pensions freedoms have for wealth managers, investment strategies and their suitability. Topics covered will include:
• What is the best way for investors to take an income and to what extent is this an issue for the wealth manager and pension adviser?
• Will wealth managers require greater pensions knowledge?
• What is the most cost effective and tax efficient way for investors to pass on assets?
• What are the impacts of income requirements or capital payments on investment strategies and suitability?
• What key information will firms need to meet their suitability obligations?
• What are the respective suitability responsibilities of the financial adviser and wealth manager?
• Are there lessons to be learned from other parts of the world?
Charles Brand (pictured), Head of Portfolio Management at Sanlam, says: “The freedoms offered to pension investors by George Osborne have been broadly welcomed by investors and commentators. However, one of the biggest challenges for the wealth management industry is how best to manage investments in the light of this paradigm shift. There are a myriad of questions and related challenges, from ones that impact directly on managers themselves to the core question of how to manage drawdown money safely and sensibly for clients, with the growing number of retirees now opting for drawdown rather than taking annuities.”
Liz Field, WMA Chief Executive, says: “The new pension reforms that came into being on 6 April 2015 have had a material impact on the UK pensions, and therefore investment, landscape and given significant flexibility and freedom. 
“These changes are welcomed by the WMA as we believe people should be given the choice in how they choose to manage their finance ahead of retirement. Investing in a pension is often one of the biggest investments an individual makes during their lifetime.  However this new landscape brings with a set of questions and challenges that need to be carefully considered. 
“As a thought leader and facilitator the WMA, in conjunction with Sanlam, are keen to ensure that the wealth management industry has ample chance to analyse these opportunities and challenges. This roundtable discussion provides a valuable forum for firms to ‘deep dive’ into the issues and some of the implications for both investors and firms”.

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