What did you set out to find?
We wanted to know whether people who are aware of the FSCS or think it is important are more likely to choose retirement income products that are protected by it.
How did you go about finding out whether this is the case?
We commissioned Oxera and the Centre for Experimental Social Sciences to conduct a controlled study on over 2,000 people. The experiment was designed to reflect the general population and asked people aged 45+ what they wanted to do with their pension pot at retirement and whether they wanted financial advice. They were offered information about eight pension options, financial advice, the FSCS, scams and tax by clicking on links and pop-ups. They were then asked to choose whether they wanted financial advice and their top three pension products. They were also asked comprehension and risk questions. A control group did not receive information about FSCS protection.
What were the key findings?
We found that those who are aware of the FSCS or think it is important are more likely to choose retirement income products that are protected by it. They are also more likely to take financial advice and less likely to question the cost of it.
Did you look at how providers were communicating the FSCS?
Yes. We commissioned an Ipsos MORI mystery shopping exercise of advisers’ and firms’ websites giving information on pensions, investments and insurance. It found that customers are being given inconsistent messages across all three product types. The research found that there are “a lot of cases” where limits have been incorrectly quoted, or where advisers appear to avoid the conversation. The research found 61 per cent of mystery shoppers had to proactively prompt the firm or adviser for information about FSCS.