The pensions freedoms introduced in 2015 have prompted the biggest shift in client behaviour over the past decade, according to research by Panacea Adviser.
The online community for financial advisers polled 414 advisers on how the needs and demands of their clients have changed, with 92 per cent of advisers naming the pension freedoms as the main cause.
Just 5 per cent of advisers named clients’ assessing their own needs as the biggest change, while 4 per cent said clients were more concerned about data protection.
Derek Bradley, Panacea chief executive, says: “The financial services industry rarely stands still and the past 10 years have been no exception. Over this time we’ve witnessed seismic regulatory changes in both regulation and legislation but while the RDR has almost certainly had the most profound impact at an industry level, it’s arguably the pension freedoms that will have been most keenly, and largely positively, felt by the end consumer.
He adds: “Recent figures have highlighted the immediate impact of the new pension rules, such as the £9.2bn revealed by HMRC to have been accessed by savers since the reforms were first announced. And while the strong reaction from the Panacea Adviser community reflects this trend, what’s particularly interesting about our result is that it indicates a real change in the mindset of clients too, meaning that figures like the aforementioned £9.2bn may not just be a flash in the pan.”
Last month figures from HM Revenue & Customs revealed savers have accessed a total of £9.2bn through pension freedoms since the reforms were announced, with around £1.6bn taken from pension pots in the last three months.