GC20/1: Advising on pension transfers

Open consultation: GC20/1
Consultation closes

We are consulting on guidance on what we expect from firms when advising on pension transfers and conversions, particularly from defined benefit (DB) schemes to defined contribution (DC) schemes. This Guidance Consultation sets out best practice and case study examples of suitable and unsuitable advice. We are also seeking views on a scheme data template and an updated version of the jointly branded FCA/The Pensions Regulator factsheet for employers and trustees on providing support on financial matters. 

We are publishing this Guidance Consultation as part of a wider package. This includes Policy Statement PS20/6 which sets out our final rules and guidance, following Consultation Paper CP19/25, as well as the findings of our multi-firm review into the suitability of pension transfer advice.

Read GC20/1 (PDF)

Who this applies to

This consultation will be of interest to firms advising consumers on pension transfers, particularly from DB to DC schemes.

It will also be relevant to stakeholders with an interest in DB transfer advice, including:

  • providers of professional indemnity insurance who want a better understanding of how to identify suitable and unsuitable pension transfer advice
  • compliance consultants who want to be better able to support firms
  • trustees and sponsoring employers of workplace pension schemes (Chapter 8 and Annex 2)

Background to our pension transfer advice work

Since the pension freedoms were introduced in 2015, we have regularly assessed the suitability of advice of firms advising on pension transfers. We have consistently found that levels of unsuitable advice are too high. This has serious consequences for consumers who may find themselves considerably worse off in retirement as a result.

We have previously published 2 Policy Statements setting out the advice framework we expect firms to use when giving pension transfer advice. But many firms have asked us for more guidance and examples to help them implement our Handbook rules. Trustees and employers running workplace pensions have asked us to be clearer about what they can say to their members without having to be regulated.

Next steps

We are asking for comments on this Guidance Consultation by 4 September 2020. 

Online form

You can also email your response to [email protected]

Please do not post responses to us at the current time.

We will consider the feedback and aim to publish Finalised Guidance in the first quarter of 2021.