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 launches Call for Input on review of financial advice market

On 1 May 2019, the FCA launched a Call for Input asking for feedback on its proposed approach to reviewing the Retail Distribution Review and the Financial Advice Market Review (“FAMR”).

The review will consider whether the initiatives have been successful in achieving their objectives, what consumers want from the market and how the market works to deliver this. It will also consider how new market trends and developments might affect the future development of advice and guidance services.

The regulator is seeking initial feedback by 3 June 2019, and intends to publish its final report in 2020.

FSCS announces final levy for 2019/20

The FSCS has announced its final levy for 2019/20 as £532m, £16m higher than forecast. The reasons for this “relatively small increase” are given as an uplift in the number of claims expected against SIPP operators, and an upwards revision to the expected continuing costs in some historic insurances failures.

HMRC publishes Pension schemes newsletter 109

On 30 April 2019, HMRC published pension schemes Newsletter 109. It includes, amongst other items, articles on:

  • relief at source for Scottish taxpayers, with a reminder of how the rates of income tax differ from those in England
  • registration, and master trust authorisation, statistics
  • features of the Managing Pension Schemes service
  • a reminder of the overseas transfer charge regulations.

TPR produces action plan in response to independent review

TPR has produced an action plan in response to the independent review, undertaken by Caroline Rookes, into communications and support provided to British Steel Pension Scheme members during the 2017-18 pension restructuring exercise.

The plan sets out TPR’s suggested responses to the review’s recommendations, the bodies TPR plans to work with, and proposed delivery dates.

Amongst other things, TPR notes that discussion with the DWP on whether DB scheme trustees’ duties should “more explicitly cover a duty to communicate effectively with members” has been incorporated into “work underway” on its new DB funding code, due in July 2019.

Phase 1 of a “web hub”, with guidance for members and trustees facing restructurings and “other major events”, is due in September 2019.

Work and Pensions Select Committee: Ministers provide written response to questions

Guy Opperman, the Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, and John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, have written to Frank Field, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, to follow-up on a number of issues of interest to the Committee.

The letter:

  • explains that responsibility for delivering value for money for members of occupational pension schemes sits with trustees or managers, and the reasons for this
  • sets out some statistics on the use of the Pension Wise service and in relation to the impact of pension scams
  • responds to two questions in connection with pensions tax relief, and
  • clarifies some points on the provision of financial advice.