FCA sets out plans to improve engagement with pensions

The FCA has published a consultation on standards for operators of pension dashboards, and set out requirements for providers of non-workplace pensions.

Pension dashboards (CP22/25) will provide consumers with easier access to information about their pension savings. The FCA has set out its approach to supervision and enforcement for dashboard operators, including on fees, regulatory reporting, record keeping, prudential requirements and conduct rules.

Under these proposals, dashboard operators will be able to offer savers additional services that improve engagement with pensions provided they meet rigorous conduct standards. These services could include investment advice (including robo-advice) or guidance, as well as provide models, calculators and other similar tools.

Sarah Pritchard, the FCA’s Executive Director for Markets, said:

'Pensions dashboards will give savers better access to their data, helping them make better decisions for their retirement. Our proposals will encourage innovation while ensuring that we have the right rules in place to protect consumers.'

The FCA has also set out final rules requiring non-workplace pension (PS22/15) providers to offer consumers a default investment option, to support those struggling to make a choice. Providers can continue to offer wider options for more engaged consumers. 

Under the rules, savers will also be warned about the risk of inflation eroding the value of significant and sustained levels of cash holdings. Firms will have 12 months to implement these rules, but given the current levels of inflation, the FCA is encouraging providers to send cash warnings now.

These publications are the FCA’s latest steps to make sure savers are able to access value for money pension products and are supported in their decision-making as they build and access their savings pot.

Notes to editors

  1. CP22/25: Proposed regulatory framework for pensions dashboard service firms.
  2. PS22/15: Improving outcomes in non-workplace pensions.
  3. Pension dashboards will allow consumers to see the current value of their pensions, administrative details about their pots, and their estimated income in retirement, all in one place for all pensions that are not yet being paid.
  4. The government committed in 2020 that operators of pensions dashboards (other than the Money and Pensions Service) should be subject to FCA regulation.  
  5. While the government has overall responsibility for pension dashboards, firms will not be able to operate pension dashboards without authorisation from the FCA. 
  6. We are consulting on these rules now in anticipation of HM Treasury making the legislative change to introduce a new regulated activity.
  7. In November 2022 we published final rules for pension providers regarding data submission to pension dashboards.
  8. We aim to open the authorisations gateway in late Summer 2023.
  9. Government response: Draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022.
  10. MaPS standards published by the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) .
  11. PDP’s consultation on design standards.
  12. The Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022.
  13. PS22/12: Pensions Dashboards rules for pension providers.
  14. Non-workplace pensions are used by self-employed consumers without access to a workplace pension, as well as by consumers wanting to supplement their workplace pension savings or consolidate existing pension pots.