"Daybreak confusion over pensions today – apology" blog discussion

edited 15 February 2011 at 12:09PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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  • edited 15 February 2011 at 2:52PM
    MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    edited 15 February 2011 at 2:52PM
    brianrhill wrote: »
    Martin

    Firstly, pensions are investments. The feedback you are getting from the professional advisers in the main is that your comments on Daybreak clearly demonstrated a complete lack of expertise and experience.

    Citing a lack of time as an reason to make an error that the greenest IFA wouldn't make indicates that you are not taking this seriously enough.

    Consumers believe you are a money expert. However, do you not agree that you have an obligation to consumers in ensuring they understand that where you may have expertise in finding deals from Pizza Hut or car insurance, this does not extend to complex regulated products or advice areas, particularly such as this where decisions are often irrevocable.

    What absolute nonesense - most of the comments floating around from professional advisors haven't actually watched the broadcast - they're responding to a twitter message which misrepresents what was said or a bizarre piece of over-hyped reporting on a trade press website (sparked by the same twitter). Those who have actually seen it are not singing the same tune (and if they are I can't understand why).

    You say there was an error - what was the error? I answered the quetion asked, sadly I can see in hindsight the question was ambiguous and that's the issue here.

    Thankfully to counter some of the ridiculous notes that have been written (mostly elsehwere) I've had a lot of positive comments from IFAs and pension specialists emailed in saying this is nonesense and the fuss being made is embarassing for the industry.

    As for annuities, its one of the key areas where i ALWAYS tell people they should get independent financial advice, I never have or will suggested what annuities to get other than don't just get your pension companies - and even though i feel like changing my view on that today, I won't as its the right move.

    That's an important and valuable message I never ever talk about individual products - yet again that wasn't what todays broadcast was about - did you actually take the time to watch it before writing this? This was a simply warnign about price changes - and I think i did that rather effectively judging by what those who aren't navel gazing are saying.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • edited 16 February 2011 at 6:58AM
    brianrhillbrianrhill Forumite
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    edited 16 February 2011 at 6:58AM
    I'm unsure how you would know if people had seen the video or not, I certainly have. I very much doubt you've had loads of IFA's and commentators emailing you, feel free to post them here.

    On Daybreak's website http://!!!!!!!.com/4zdtjod you say:

    "When you retire, if you have a private pension fund most people need to transfer it into an annuity – a product that pays a set amount every year until you retire."

    This is just not at all accurate.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser
    However, anything posted here is for discussion purposes only. It should not be considered as financial advice.
  • edited 15 February 2011 at 3:32PM
    moleratmolerat Forumite
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    edited 15 February 2011 at 3:32PM
    We had moved briefly onto annuities, and obviously to explain the impact, as annuities are not a product not all Daybreak viewers will understand I was explaining what they were. I said:

    "That’s if you’ve got a private pension fund, you’ve paid into your private pension fund, you have to convert it into an annuity"

    Now, of course, I could’ve said ‘often have to’ but this wasn’t a guide to annuities, it’s a short hand description to get people to understand what annuities are and why they’re important in context of the point about price rises. And this is unscripted live TV, where word perfect isn’t possible.
    You admit that all viewers do not underestand annuities then post the very piece of misinformation from the clip and cannot understand what the fuss is about. The less financially aware will take it as a statement of fact. It is irrelevant what the piece was about as misinformation, even if inadvertant, is poor journalism and a clarifying statement should be made on your next appearance.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    There is a duplicate thread running in the pensions section.

    I posted on that having not seen Daybreak and the clip in question. Someone posted a link to it and having now seen it, then whilst there is an error, the speed at what it was said and the lack of correction means that almost certainly the average daybreak viewer would not pick up on it. The coverage of this error is over the top. However, it is understandable given that those that are authorised to give advice would not get away with it. Yet journalists can. I think that it is that issue and the opportunity to raise it that is giving it the coverage. Rather than the error itself.

    I was actually more disappointed with the response: "There are lots of "what-ifs" but I’m not going to play that game to defend myself. This is a complete red herring; this is Daybreak, not Citywire. I have got four minutes to get my point across. - That gives an indication that just because the time is short and the audience low knowledge that you can get away with it.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • edited 15 February 2011 at 4:01PM
    brianrhillbrianrhill Forumite
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    edited 15 February 2011 at 4:01PM
    on Daybreak's website Martin says:

    "When you retire, if you have a private pension fund most people need to transfer it into an annuity – a product that pays a set amount every year until you retire."

    Clearly wrong. Annuities pay out after you retire and not necessarily a set amount and not necessarily until death (which may have been what he meant).
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser
    However, anything posted here is for discussion purposes only. It should not be considered as financial advice.
  • edited 15 February 2011 at 4:05PM
    savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
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    edited 15 February 2011 at 4:05PM
    I must be honest i didn't see it. I dont have the energy to get into a technical debate but I love this site and the way that we can debate anything let's just not get overheated. Martin's a good guy.
    Try to have a minimal spend year in 2021
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  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    "When you retire, if you have a private pension fund most people need to transfer it into an annuity – a product that pays a set amount every year until you retire."

    That is clearly not correct but it is a dumbed down answer giving one of the basic options. its a one sentence answer to give an explanation that needs more than one line. I know from past comments from Martin that you have to play to the audience in question and you cant make things too technical. However, with things like this which have multiple options and what you do and dont get depends on the type of income you buy and what options you include, i think that making generalisations can be risky when aiming them at a wide audience.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • edited 15 February 2011 at 4:49PM
    SnowManSnowMan Forumite
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    edited 15 February 2011 at 4:49PM
    This criticism of Martin is completely ridiculous.

    The key thing here is that anything that Martin says is watched by millions of viewers. The advice given by an IFA is only evidenced by the few in the room, and in the comfort of the write up the adviser can 'correct' anything that isn't 100% clear and very few if any will see the notes subsequently or examine them.

    The suggested error is based on a microscopic disection of the words and relates to a section where the context of unisex annuity rates is being explained so it is not even about options at retirement.

    It is a true reflection on IFAs like dunstonh if they cannot come to the complete defence of Martin on this one.

    Talking of annuity errors look at this annuity advice 'error' by dunstonh. In the thread below a poster asks whether they should take up a single life guaranteed annuity rate and is basically given the impression by dunstonh not to bother with it if they have dependants to look after. However dunstonh fails to point out that taking the single life guaranteed annuity rate on beneficial terms and purchasing separate protection for dependants would be a potential workaround for the original poster saving them £1,000's. It is only when that thought is brought up later in the thread that dunstonh starts to mention it. Now surely that omission is much more relevant in that discussion than the drawdown option is in Martin's appearance. Perhaps dunstonh didn't have the time to clarify or perhaps he thought his audience's understanding was too low?

    That's not a criticism of dunstonh on that thread (although it most definitely IS a criticism of his post on this thread), I would like to think that in a full advice interview that would be pointed out. But it does show that if you try to disect every word nobody can be 100% clear about everything and that includes anyone on this board including me, and any professional adviser.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=21102361&highlight=#post21102361
    I came, I saw, I melted
  • MSE_Martin wrote: »
    I have some sympathy for your point of view. Whenever I'm asked about investment products (its not a subject I would ever suggest) I back away as its not my subject - I have said on air many times "I don't cover investing".

    Pensions are different - but only in generic practice of ensuring peopel save for their retirement not in the products and what to do - i focus more on state than private pensions anyway

    Yet this wasn't a pensions piece it was an 'EU ruling' piece primarily about car insurance with annuities and other things as one of the range of things affected and one of the most substantial hits as Im sure you know.

    What was said was reporting a predicted price change- there was no intent to tell people how to sort their retirement fund out and what products to go for, its not something I'd do personally.

    If you've watched what was said (and Im sure you have) then I'd be very surprised if you disagreed. The question was just about clearing up what an annuity is for the many people who don't know.
    Martin,

    Very much appreciate your reply. I agree that the TV slot was not a Pension piece. I've also heard you very clearly state many times that you don't cover Investments on the Radio and TV.

    My comments were more aimed at the Media in general, and that if they start covering a topic that encompasses financial advice, they should have some kind of statement suggesting that people should seek financial advice to explore all the options (whether or not they have a Pension/Investment expert on the show). Some of the articles written in Newspapers and shown on TV are very misleading and written by people with very little knowledge, and who are not held responsible for any 'advice' they may have given. This is very frustrating for professional Financial Advisers.

    Keep up the good work.

    Martin
  • brianrhill wrote: »
    I'm unsure how you would know if people had seen the video or not, I certainly have. I very much doubt you've had loads of IFA's and commentators emailing you, feel free to post them here.

    As an example of someone giving their opinion on something they have no expertise in:


    "When you retire, if you have a private pension fund most people need to transfer it into an annuity – a product that pays a set amount every year until you retire."

    Clearly nonsense. :mad:

    Martin, I have to say that I think what you do is excellent and provides simple, straightforward information to the public about areas of financial planning that they might have difficulty understanding otherwise. As a qualifiied and authorised IFA with 10 years in the industry I occassionaly make mistakes too. Only yesterday I forgot the cash ISA allowance for this year when discussing a clients investment portfolio. However, when I had realised that I gave wrong information I re-contacted the client and corrected the error. The client didn't start a 'witch hunt' and the errors that you made (and there were several) were no worse than mine. I think it is important thing to remember here is that not all IFA's are the same and most don't feel the need to 'puff out our chests' in disgust at your attempt to actually help consumers!! brianrhill is typical of all that is wrong in the industry (but then he probably works as a'tied' advisor flogging the banks products) and if he is an IFA, shame on him. Our greatest aim should be to educate consumers and you should be applauded for doing exactly that :T
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