Aviva PLC (LON: AV.) Launches Abridged Advice Service

Summary

  • Aviva PLC has launched an abridged advice service to help customers who are considering transferring out of their defined benefit pension
  • This will help close the advice gap and will also help in avoiding long procedure for seeking suggestion

An abridged advice service has been launched by Aviva PLC (LON: AV.) to help savers who are considering transferring out of their defined benefit pension. As announced on 16 November 2020, the abridged advice service will operate through the Aviva Financial Advice service and will focus on planning, understanding the needs of the savers so that they can decide whether they need to proceed to full advice or not. This new service will be helpful for those 30 per cent of adults aged 55 or over who need financial advice but are unable to get it. The Advice gap in the UK will be fulfilled by Aviva’s abridged services.

Aviva Financial Advice’s Managing Director, Mary Harper explains that earlier people had to undergo a long procedure on seeking suggestion regarding the suitability of transferring their DB pension, even if the end advice would be not to transfer. Gauging if transferring is the right choice for them or not at only the preliminary level could be reached through a much simpler process. The different levels of support that the customers need, i.e., gathering of information to full advice has been fully taken care of by the company. The company is customising its offering so that it can fulfil the requirements of the customers.

Mary Harper added that in order to properly evaluate the plans associated with their wealth and retirement, customers require advice on their DB pensions. It will not present the full scenario to consider the best choice for the customers if they have a DB pension as part of their retirement savings.

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing restrictions due to it has seriously impacted financial advice processes, which led to the introduction of various digital services in the industry removing the traditional face-to-face adviser or client meetings requirement. 

Mary Harper commented that somewhere or the other, the restrictions faced by us this year have hastened the innovations that would have been seen over the next few years. Adoption of new ways of working have been adopted by businesses in order to remain viable and accessible to customers, and the financial advice sector has not been behind. 

She further commented that the company does not guarantee that its 100 per cent face-to-face advice will be transformed in the coming future. The digital experience is becoming more and more attractive and is designed in a way that works best for each individual customer.  Most of the processes of the company has been already digitised during the pandemic and will continue in future.

Aviva is looking forward to offering simplified services in providing advice to customers who have a simpler set of requirements, for instance- which is the right funds, etc. With the help of a simpler digitised model, the company will provide abridged advice service at a lower cost, and this can be offered through online triage and fact-finding, helping the customers in better decision making.

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