FIN.

Changes to retirement “wake-up packs” take effect

The FCA has published feedback to its consultation on a package of amendments to improve the information given to consumers at retirement by their pension providers. The changes relate to ‘wake-up’ packs (which give consumers information about their retirement options) and the annuity information prompt (which is intended to tell consumers how much they could gain by shopping around and switching annuity provider).

 

The amendments:

 

  • clarify that a pension provider is not required to provide a ‘wake-up’ pack when the consumer has requested payment as a serious ill-health lump sum and the firm has not rejected the request
  • clarify the FCA’s expectations in respect of the age-related triggers for providing ‘wake-up’ packs (broadly these should be provided at age 50 and then every 5 years until consumers have fully crystallised their pension pot), and
  • amend the information prompt rules so that a firm must still generate a “market-leading pension annuity quote” on a non-enhanced basis for a consumer who refuses to answer questions about health and lifestyle.

 

The first two changes took effect from 1 November 2019, with the third change due from 1 January 2020.

 

The FCA received 7 responses to the consultation, all of which agreed with the suggested changes except for an objection to the 1 January 2020 deadline in respect of the information prompt change. As it received “no compelling evidence” as to why the deadline was unreasonable, the FCA confirmed that the changes would go ahead from the dates specified. However, it encourages firms to comply with all the changes from 1 November 2019.

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Gavin Ellison