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Election uncertainty hits advisers and clients

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The forthcoming General Election is creating uncertainty and disruption for adviser businesses and their clients, new adviser research from MetLife shows.

Nearly one in three advisers (33 per cent) say the 8 June vote and its aftermath are a major concern for their business over the next three months. This features ahead of concerns following the triggering of Article 50, cited by 27 per cent, as the UK negotiates its departure from the European Union.
 
Clients are also feeling the strain with more than a quarter of advisers (28 per cent) saying election uncertainty is preventing clients from making decisions, the research – conducted as part of MetLife’s Quarterly Market Review being distributed to advisers – shows.
 
However, advisers are overwhelmingly convinced the Conservatives offer the most compelling vision for improving pensions, savings and financial advice – more than half (53 per cent) of those surveyed chose the Conservatives compared with just 21 per cent backing Labour.
 
They are however likely to be disappointed on legislative changes – the key changes advisers would like to see are the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance on pension payouts and abolition of the Annual Allowance on contributions.
 
Around 34 per cent of advisers want to see the Lifetime Allowance abolished while 31 per cent want the Annual Allowance scrapped, the nationwide study shows. Around 11 per cent want the so-called Triple Lock on State Pensions maintained.
 
Richard Evans, Intermediary Development Manager at MetLife UK, says: “Advisers may have hoped that political and economic uncertainty would have eased following the triggering of Article 50 but that was rapidly followed by the launch of a General Election.
 
“It is clear that the election is adding to the general uncertainty which is affecting long-term planning and complicating long-term decision making as clients react to the ups and downs of opinion polls and their impact on investment markets.
 
“Equity markets have remained robust but there is a growing concern that volatility will return, particularly as the EU exit negotiations start in earnest following the General Election result, whatever the outcome.”
 
The research shows 43 per cent of advisers believe the Brexit negotiations will have a negative impact on clients in traditional drawdown, highlighting the need to protect gains. Just one in three advisers believes Brexit will benefit drawdown clients.
 
MetLife’s range of retirement and investment solutions have been designed to meet the need for a guaranteed level of income for life in retirement or a guaranteed capital amount at the end of a chosen term, while providing customers with the flexibility to access their investment if needed.
 
Customers can choose from a range of investments to build a personalised plan suited to the levels of risk they are willing to take, while having the choice of a valuable guaranteed level of income for life from age 55 or a guaranteed capital sum at the end of their chosen term. In addition, the plans offer the potential for customers to increase the value of their guarantee through daily lock-ins of investment gains while enabling savers with the flexibility to start, stop and restart their income to suit their personal needs.

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