We are consulting on how advice should be provided to consumers on pension transfers where consumers have safeguarded benefits, primarily for transfers from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes.
Defined benefit pensions and other safeguarded pensions provide valuable benefits so most consumers will be best advised to keep them. However, we recognise that the economic and legislative environment has changed significantly, so we want to ensure that financial advice considers the customer’s circumstances in full and properly considers the various options now available to them.
We want to provide advisers with a framework which better enables them to give the right advice so that consumers make better informed decisions. The FCA has rules which govern advice given to consumers wishing to transfer safeguarded benefits. Transferring from such a pension, to one without any safeguards, is an important decision for consumers to take and historically has been unlikely to be their best interests.
The proposals set out in this consultation aim to reflect the current environment and the increased demand for pension transfer advice. Since the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015, consumers have more options available to access their pension savings. This has combined with more recent changes to the financial environment leading to historically high levels of transfer values.
This consultation will primarily be of interest to financial advisory firms advising on pension transfers, those acting as pension transfer specialists, pension providers, and those providing software for pension transfer advice.
The consultation may also be of interest to employer sponsors of defined benefit pensions, employee benefit consultants, consumers groups, providers of qualifications, providers of professional indemnity insurance and other industry and professional bodies.
Please send us your comments by 21 September 2017:
You can also:
We will consider your feedback and publish our rules in a Policy Statement by early 2018.