In this Policy Statement we report on the main issues arising from Consultation Paper 15/30 (Pension reforms – proposed changes to our rules and guidance) and publish the final rules and guidance.
Why are we publishing this policy statement?
In October 2015 we published Consultation Paper 15/30: Pension reforms – proposed changes to our rules and guidance (CP15/30). This followed a thorough review of our regulatory requirements in light of the Government’s pension reforms.
This Policy Statement summarises the responses we received to CP15/30 and publishes final rules and guidance on the areas where we proposed changes to our Handbook. We also give an update on the areas where we invited discussion and set out our next steps.
Who should read this paper?
This Policy Statement will be relevant to all those with an interest in pensions and retirement, including:
- providers of pensions, including operators of self-invested personal pensions
- providers of retirement income products
- trustees of defined contribution pension schemes (and schemes with a defined contribution element)
employer sponsors of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, both trust and contract based (and schemes with a defined contribution element)
- providers of other financial services products that play a role in consumers’ retirement planning
- individuals and firms providing advice and information in this area
- distributors of financial products, in particular retirement income products
- firms carrying out debt collection or giving debt advice
- trade bodies representing financial services firms
- consumer representative bodies
- charities and other organisations with a particular interest in the ageing population and/or financial services more generally
- individual consumers
The rules and guidance will affect consumers who have or will have contract-based defined contribution pension funds, or who will look to access their pension savings from a defined contribution fund (including by transferring into a contract-based pension). The rules and guidance set out in this Policy Statement will play an important role in determining the way in which consumers interact with pension and retirement income markets now and in the future.
The guidance we are adding to our Consumer Credit sourcebook (CONC) will be of interest to consumers who may choose to use pension savings to pay off debt.
Firms that operate personal and stakeholder pensions will need to act to make the necessary changes to enable them to comply with the final rules once they come into force.