7 days

7 Days is a weekly round up of developments in pensions, normally published on Monday afternoons. We collate this information from key industry sources, such as the DWP, HMRC and TPR.

In this 7 Days

FCA publishes guidance for firms on supporting vulnerable consumers when providing pension transfer advice

On 30 August 2023, the FCA published a new webpage aimed at financial advisers, setting out the FCA’s expectations of how firms should support consumers with characteristics of vulnerability that may impact their decision making.

The consumer duty “raises the standards” expected of firms and includes new rules for the treatment of consumers who are in vulnerable circumstances. When advising pension transfer consumers, financial advisers should be “alert to potential indicators of vulnerability”, such as poor health or cognitive impairment.  Firms should also assess their approach to vulnerability to ensure they are meeting the new requirements. The FCA will monitor compliance and “take swift action” in cases of malpractice.

MaPS publishes research on Pension Wise

On 1 September 2023, MaPS published the results of a Pension Wise survey, commenting that the service “helps people feel informed, make good decisions and be even more wary of scams”. The survey found that 57% of telephone appointment customers and 44% of online users “changed how they accessed or intend to access their pension” following their appointment or using Pension Wise resources.

MaPS encourages people over 50 to consider using Pension Wise to help plan how to access their pensions. Trustees are required to give a “stronger nudge” to the guidance in certain circumstances when individuals apply to transfer or start receiving DC benefits.