Pensions  

FCA publishes retirement income market study

FCA publishes retirement income market study

The FCA has given its backing to the creation of a pensions dashboard which would allow savers to see all their pots in one place.

The proposal is one of several remedies included in the City watchdog’s 70-page final report of its Retirement Income Market Study.

Already used in the Netherlands and Denmark, the pensions dashboard would allow consumers with several pension pots to have a clear understanding of their accumulated pension wealth.

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The FCA believes this could be rolled out in the “next few years”.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: “The retirement income market is set for the biggest change in a generation.

“Over the next 12 months we want to ensure that the market is fit for purpose in the new landscape.

“We received considerable support for our proposals and we will be working with Government and the industry to implement all of our recommendations so that consumers can have confidence that they are getting the best possible outcome when making decisions on their retirement income.”

The report also recommends requiring firms to provide annuity quotation comparisons so consumers can easily identify if they could be getting a better deal by shopping around and switching provider.

Redesigning and testing the information that consumers receive from their providers in the run up to retirement is also a recommendation.

But Malcolm McLean, a senior consultant at independent provider of actuarial, administration and consultancy services Barnett Waddingham, said he was disappointed with the pace of change in the retirement market.

He said: “It will probably be another year at least before the remedies kick in, making it eight years since the regulatory probe of the market began.”

Yvonne Braun, the ABI’s director of long-term savings policy, said: “With the incoming pension reforms set to revolutionise people’s retirement options, we share the FCA’s aim of ensuring that customers have confidence they are getting the best possible retirement income for their circumstances.

“We look forward to working with the FCA on the practical implementation of their remedies.”

Adviser view

Peter Chadborn, director of Essex-based Plan Money, said: “I think the FCA’s recommendations are well overdue. Too many people who are at retirement stumble into purchasing an annuity on the basis that they think it is the only option.”