Thematic review of Retirement Income Advice

Our findings on how the retirement income advice market is working and whether consumers are receiving appropriate advice on meeting their income needs in retirement. 

Read the thematic review (PDF)

Why we conducted this review

Pension freedom reforms have changed the way consumers access their retirement savings. Given the wide range of retirement options available, it is vital that consumers get good advice when they first access their pension savings and, where relevant, on an ongoing basis.

In conducting this review our key aims were to: 

  • gain detailed insights into how the retirement income advice market is functioning 
  • understand whether firms’ advice models consider the specific needs of consumers in decumulation 
  • consider whether consumers are being provided with suitable retirement income advice when accessing benefits built up through pension savings, and take appropriate action to tackle any harms identified  
  • inform our future areas of focus 

Who this applies to

This report is for:  

  • firms providing retirement income advice to new and existing customers in, or nearing, decumulation  
  • regulatory compliance consultancy firms  
  • trade bodies for regulated firms  

Individual consumers and consumer groups may also be interested. 


Decisions for consumers approaching or in retirement have become more complex with the potential for more risk. The size of the retirement income market is significant and growing, and this is set against the backdrop of an ageing population.

Advisers have an opportunity to provide valuable services to help consumers make decisions about meeting their income needs in retirement. However, the harm caused by poor advice may have a particularly detrimental impact on consumers.

This review supports our work to improve standards across the consumer investment market. Driving up standards in advice aligns with our vision for consumers to:  

  • invest with confidence  
  • make good investment decisions  
  • understand the risks and regulatory protections involved 
  • access investments that suit their circumstances  
  • get the support they need 

Next steps

Actions for firms 

All firms that provide retirement income advice should consider and use this information to review and update how they work. Alongside our report we have issued a Dear CEO letter which sets out expectations that firms must take action in response to our findings.

Further supervisory work 

Retirement income advice remains a focus for us. We will be following up on these findings with firms involved in the retirement income advice market. We will also be carrying out further supervisory work in this area to explore the scale of the issues identified and tackle any harms.