Effective competition in non-workplace pensions: DP18/1

Open consultation: DP18/1
Consultation closes

We are launching a discussion with industry, consumers and their representatives, in order to better understand the market for non-workplace pensions: the providers, the consumers and the relationship between them.

Show DP18/1 (PDF)

‘Non-workplace pensions’ is an umbrella term we are using to represent individually arranged contract-based defined contribution (DC) pensions, most commonly:

  • individual personal pensions
  • stakeholder personal pensions
  • self-invested personal pensions

With this discussion paper, we seek to understand whether competition is working well in the market for non-workplace pensions and whether or not there is a need to go further to protect consumers.

We are asking for views and evidence about the factors that influence the behaviour of consumers and providers and whether the current market dynamics ensure fair outcomes for consumers. We will, in parallel, carry out empirical work to help us understand the issues.

Who this affects

You should read this paper if you represent a firm that operates contract based personal pensions, stakeholder personal pensions and self-invested personal pensions. The paper may also be of interest to other participants in related markets including providers of advice and guidance, investment platforms, asset managers and discretionary fund managers.

Consumers who have contributed to a non-workplace pension or plan to do so in the future are affected by the issues we discuss in this paper. It is likely to be of particular interest to consumers who are or once were:

  • self-employed
  • not in formal employment
  • employed but ineligible for workplace pension saving
  • members of workplace pensions whose benefits were transferred into a non-workplace pension

We welcome input from individual consumers and groups representing their interests.

Next steps

This consultation has now closed. After considering your feedback, we will construct and send a focused data request to providers of non-workplace pensions, to establish an evidence base from which to test the existence and scale of any problems identified. In parallel, we will undertake qualitative consumer research.

Later in 2018, we plan to publish a paper which will provide feedback on the themes arising from the responses to the discussion paper and the data collection. If the evidence demonstrates the existence of consumer harm, we will subsequently consult on proposals to remedy this.