With public interest issues on the rise and socioeconomic factors such as pension reform beginning to take effect, the CII has announced its 2016 Life, Pensions and Long-Term Savings Professionalism Commitment, Luke Holloway finds out more-¦
The life, pensions and long-term savings sector has undergone significant changes in recent years and having managed these changes, the sector is now well placed to play a fundamental role in helping customers secure their financial future.
With important public interest issues on the rise and socioeconomic factors such as ageing population and the associated need for long-term care, conduct risk and most notably pension reform coming increasingly into focus, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced the 2016 Life, Pensions and Long-Term Savings Professionalism Commitment.
The 2016 Commitment is a pledge by a group of life and pension companies to implement a framework of professional standards across their organisation by the end of 2018, to help customers have confidence in the knowledge of their staff. The voluntary pledge recognises the hugely important role life and pensions providers will play in influencing consumer confidence post-pension reform.
Steve Jenkins, director of financial services and insurance markets at the CII, says: "Our research shows that many customers, particularly those who cannot afford financial advice, will revert to their own provider for guidance. Therefore, it is vital the experience and knowledge these providers have is consistent across the sector and customers can rely on the skills of the people they talk to deliver the best outcome for them."
The initiative is supported by a group of major providers, all of whom wish to send a signal to customers of the high standards that will be delivered, while underpinning that message with career structures for their own staff.
Mr Jenkins continues: "This is an important initiative and we are confident that over the coming months other organisations will follow those that have already signed up, and increase the momentum of what is already a substantial proportion of the market."
CII research shows that life and pensions providers will play a substantial part in helping customers post-pension reform -- customers who will be living longer post-retirement and whose financial affairs will be more complicated.
Richard Rowney, managing director of life and pensions at LV=, says: "Life and pension products play a critical role in people's lives and it's vital that, when choosing a provider, customers can feel confident they are dealing with well trained staff who will help them make the right decision."
To find out more go to: www.cii.co.uk/corporate/the-2016-commitment/
"Life and pension products play a critical role in people's lives and it's vital that, when choosing a provider, they are dealing with well trained staff who will help them make the right decision"
Richard Rowney, managing director of life and pensions at LV=
All signatories commit to embed the following measures of professional capability:
To hold professional qualifications
All to hold membership of an appropriate professional body and commit to continuing professional development (CPD)
All working towards becoming Diploma qualified
Minimum Certificate-level qualification or equivalent
Senior technical roles
All working towards becoming Diploma qualified or equivalent
Customer-facing staff and team leaders
The majority working towards Certificate-level or equivalent qualification
All new joiners to complete Award-level qualification or equivalent, committing to a code of ethics and CPD within 12 months of joining
Chair, Robert Fletcher ACII, DipPFS
President, Chartered Insurance Institute
Chief Risk Officer,
Director of Risk & Compliance,
Chief Operating Officer,
LV= Life and Pensions
UK Operations Director,
Old Mutual Wealth
Customer Service Director,
MD Life & Pensions,
ReAssure (Admin Re)
Retirement Propositions Director, Scottish Widows
Managing Director of Customer Operations, Standard Life