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FCA Changes to the Pension Transfer Rules

7th March 2015

Proposed changes to pension transfer rules

Changes to Pension Transfer Rules

Why are the FCA consulting on this?

The FCA's proposals are designed to support the Government's new flexible pensions regime.

The FCA already regulates advice on transfers to personal pensions. The new regime will bring advice on transfers from defined benefit (DB) schemes to occupational defined contribution (DC) occupational schemes into the FCA's remit.

The new regime will also make advising on pension transfers significantly more complex, so we now wish to require the Pension Transfer Specialist qualification for advice on all transfers from DB schemes to DC arrangements, regardless of when the transferred benefits are being accessed.

The FCA propose to:

amend their rules to incorporate the new specified activity of advising on conversions or transfers of safeguarded benefits to flexible benefits, and require that all advice on DB to DC pension transfers be provided or checked by a Pension Transfer Specialist.

Who does this affect?

This consultation will be of interest to IFAs and Financial Planners advising on pension transfers and pension providers receiving transfer business. It may also be of interest to employer sponsors of DB schemes and employee benefit consultancies.

The FCA's proposals will affect retail consumers seeking to transfer benefits from DB schemes to DC arrangements. This consultation paper may therefore be of interest to these consumers or to consumer groups representing them.

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