An accountancy practice specialising in financial advisers, Clapton Consultants, has responded to an industry survey from The Pensions Regulator suggesting that the level of interest in auto-enrolment among financial advisers has fallen markedly over the last 12 months.
The survey revealed that a growing number of advisers no longer view auto-enrolment as a business opportunity. Clapton writes that HM Treasury recently issued an open consultation entitled ‘Introducing a Pensions Advice Allowance’ which suggests there are further opportunities for accountants and IFAs to explore in this area.
“The consultation document suggests that the tax free pensions’ allowance of GBP500 per individual may be used in conjunction with the tax exempt allowance of GBP500 for employer arranged advice. This provides a maximum tax advantaged allowance for retirement advice of GBP1,000 per pension member. The measures are scheduled to be in place by April 2017” the firm writes.
Eric Clapton, MD of Clapton Consultants says: ‘Government strategy is to use employers as a conduit to provide financial advice to many more people. Plugging the advice gap is a major objective and HM Treasury is willing to sanction tax breaks to achieve that aim.
“Every accountancy practice has business clients who are affected by auto enrolment legislation. Collaboration between accountants and regulated advisers will maximise the commercial reward afforded by this government sponsored opportunity. Notwithstanding the fact that margins on workplace pension advice are under serious downward pressure, ignoring this area of business could be a costly mistake.”