FCA delays pension work due to Brexit

FCA delays pension work due to Brexit

The regulator is delaying the publication of its probe into non-workplace pensions by at least six months due to Brexit.

In its discussion paper published in February 2018 the Financial Conduct Authority stated it was aiming to publish its findings on this market, which represents about £400bn of assets under management, at the end of that year.

The regulator intended to shed some light on whether providers were competing on charges and if there were barriers to consumers identifying and choosing more competitive products.

At the time it stated it was concerned informal defaults may be operating in the market for non-workplace pensions that are not subject to the same protection as defaults in workplace pensions.

The FCA has now updated its website stating that a feedback statement will be published in the Summer. It stated it hadn't been possible to complete the analysis of industry data before its Brexit moratorium.

In September, Charles Randell, the FCA’s chairman, revealed the regulator would continue to devote part of its resources to getting the industry ready for the UK's departure from the European Union, and that it would need an extra budget of £30m for the exercise.

Sir Steve Webb, former pensions minister and director of policy at Royal London, said it was vitally important to assure savers in non-workplace pensions that they are getting good value for money.

He said: "It is yet another sign of the way in which the Brexit process is distracting attention from other issues that the next steps by the FCA in this important area have been delayed by at least six months."

Individual private pensions are products such as individual personal pensions, stakeholder personal pensions, and self-invested personal pensions.

They also include free standing additional voluntary contributions, s32 buyouts, and retirement annuities.