FCA and DWP publish call for evidence on transaction costs

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have today published a joint call for evidence on the disclosure of transaction cost information for workplace pension schemes.

From April this year, Independent Governance Committees (IGCs) and pension scheme trustees will be required to report annually on the costs and charges involved in managing and investing the pension pots of scheme members.

The FCA and DWP are seeking views to feed into the next phase of this work, which looks at how information about transaction costs should be reported in a standardised, comparable format.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA said:

"Transaction costs and charges associated with workplace pension schemes have a direct impact on the value of people’s pension pots.

"Trustees and IGCs of workplace pension schemes need to have clear and transparent information as part of assessing value for money offered by pension schemes. We want clarity and consistency across the market and that is why we are asking for views on how costs and charges information should be disclosed."

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:

"Pension savers need to have confidence that their hard-earned money is working for them.

"That is why it’s so important we understand all the charges that are placed directly and indirectly on pensions - and that pension schemes and trustees can present them to members in a clear and transparent way.

"There is a fear that the dark corners of the investment and pensions industry hold some nasty surprises. We have a duty to throw light for the first time on potential hidden charges - and restore faith and fairness in British pensions."

The joint call for evidence between the FCA and DWP is asking for evidence on:

  • what costs should be included in the transaction cost reporting;
  • how such costs should be captured and reported;
  • whether information about other factors that impact on investment return should also be provided;
  • how IGCs and trustees will receive costs information and whether additional disclosure requirements on other parties are necessary to enable this; and
  • when, how and in what format members and/or other prescribed persons should receive transaction cost information.

Notes to editors

  1. Transaction Costs Disclosure: Improving Transparency in Workplace Pensions - A call for evidence
  2. On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
  3. The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
  4. Find out more information about the FCA.