Category Pensions

Call for interest in new payment Standards Advisory Panel

The Bank of England and Pay.UK are inviting expressions of interest from senior stakeholders who could represent the payments industry on a newly created Standards Advisory Panel.  The new Panel will focus on the implementation of ISO20022, but also cover also payments standards for the UK. The deadline for applications is Monday 10 December 2018.

Ombudsman News focuses on retirement

The latest edition of Ombudsman News looks at complaints and trends around pensions. Complaints about pensions make up a very small proportion of all complaints, but as a pension is so important to consumers, FOS has focussed on assessing what it sees as the key rights, and included case studies on complaints involving defined benefit to […]

FCA makes new rules on safeguarded to flexible benefits transfers

FCA’s latest Handbook Notice heralds just one set of rule changes.  The changes are to COBS, PERG and examination standards in respect of pension advisers providing suitable advice to consumers about whether to transfer from safeguarded benefits to flexible benefits.

FCA writes to CEOs on SIPP due diligence

FCA has written a “Dear CEO” letter on the duties of SIPP operators in respect of due diligence. The letter refers to the judgement in the Berkeley Burke case and several other pending civil claims, and asks firms to consider the potential implications of these cases for them and their customers. The Berkeley Burke case, […]

FCA and Pensions Regulator publish joint strategy

The FCA and the Pensions Regulator have published a joint strategy outlining how they will work together to address changes in the pensions and retirement income sector. The joint strategy sets out four areas of focus:  access and participation, funding and investments, governance and administration, and consumer understanding and decision-making. The Regulators have prioritised the […]

FCA consults on Statements of Responsibilities and Responsibilities Map guidance

The FCA has published a consultation on proposed  guidance to help solo-regulated firms draft their Statements of Responsibilities (SoR) and (for enhanced firms) Responsibilities Maps, in preparation for the SMCR extension in December 2019. Although targeted at solo-regulated firms, the FCA notes that the guidance may also be useful for dual-regulated firms preparing or updating […]

FCA publishes Brexit consultations following HMT Guidance

As heralded at the end of last year, the FCA has now published two consultation papers that make provision for operations in the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit next March. The first consultation sets out changes to the FCA’s Handbook and to those EU Binding Technical Standards, which, it is proposed, would be incorporated directly […]

FCA finalises pension transfer advice rules

FCA has published feedback and final rules and guidance following its consultation on improving the quality of pension transfer advice. Since the introduction of “pension freedoms” in 2015 members have had more options available to them in terms of accessing their defined contribution (DC) pension savings. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of […]

CMA brings forward investment consultant report date

The CMA has announced that it is bringing forward the date for publishing its final report on its investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services in the UK. Having considered the responses to its Provisional Decision Report, the CMA has announced that it will aim to publish its final […]

FCA consults on applying SM&CR to CMCs

The FCA has opened a consultation that sets out how it will apply the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) to Claims Management Companies (CMCs), following taking over regulation of them from 1 April 2019. The consultation also sets out when SM&CR may apply to CMCs, and what action they will need to take. The […]

Regulators launch new campaign to tackle pension scams

The FCA and the Pensions Regulator have launched a joint advertising campaign to raise awareness of pension scams, following research they have conducted which shows that pension scam victims each lost an average of £91,000 in 2017. The campaign, ScamSmart, is aimed at individuals aged 45-65 who are the group most at risk of pension […]

Law Commission confirms status of electronic signatures

In December 2017 the Law Commission confirmed that one of the projects it would be working on was addressing the absence of explicit case law and legislation that has given rise to uncertainty as to the validity of electronic signatures in some cases. Consequently, the Law Commission has now published early conclusions from its review […]

FSB launches peer review of LEIs

The Financial Stability Board has published the Summary Terms of Reference of a thematic peer review of the implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier. The thematic review seeks feedback from a range of stakeholders on issues such as: awareness and adoption of the LEI in various jurisdictions; types of private sector uses of the LEI; […]

FCA updated guidance for firms outsourcing IT

The FCA has updated FG 16/5, ‘Guidance for firms outsourcing to the ‘cloud’ and other third party IT services’. This update takes account of the publication of the European Banking Authority’s recommendations, and changes to relevant legislation.    

Corporate governance reporting and the impact on large private companies

We have written an article on the new corporate governance reporting requirements for certain large private companies. The requirements will come into force on 1 January 2019 applying to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019, with reporting effectively commencing in 2020 for the previous year. We also cover the consultation launched on […]

FCA publishes intervention approach documents

On a new page on its website, ‘Measuring our impact before we intervene‘, the FCA has published a group of documents that aim to provide an indication of how the FCA assesses the likely impact of its policies. These documents consist of: a paper setting out the FCA’s approach to conducting cost benefit analyses for […]

Treasury consults on pension cold calling ban

Treasury is consulting on a proposed ban on cold calling in relation to pensions. The consultation is a technical consultation on the wording of the legislation necessary to implement the ban, as the policy decision has already been taken following earlier consultation. The consultation period lasts only until 17 August, and Treasury hopes to lay […]

CMA proposes pension investment reforms

CMA has published a report proposing several reforms to allay its concerns over competition in the investment consultancy and fiduciary management sectors. CMA was concerned that: many pension schemes (around half) choose the same provider for fiduciary management that they use for investment consultancy. CMA is concerned the investment consultant can encourage this and it means […]

FCA proposes further consumer support and protection in the retirement income market

The FCA has launched a consultation on a package of measures designed to protect consumers, improve engagement and promote competition in the retirement income market. Alongside the consultation, the FCA has published the final report of its Retirement Outcomes Review, an investigation into how the pensions and retirement income sector has been working since the […]

FCA confirms that pension schemes will not need to start clearing OTC derivatives when EMIR exemption expires on 16 August 2018

On 3 July 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a statement on the clearing obligations for pension scheme arrangements under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). EMIR introduced a temporary exemption for certain pension schemes from the obligation to clear their OTC derivative contracts to allow time for a suitable technical solution […]

FCA and PSR Chair discusses potential future algocracy

Charles Randell, the recently appointed Chair of the FCA and the PSR, has delivered a speech, in which he discussed the increasing dominance of algorithms in our day to day lives, and noted some of the consequent issues that will need to be grappled with, as  the rise of Big Data, AI and machine learning […]

Discussion Paper on building the financial sector’s operational resilience

The Bank of England, the PRA and FCA have published a joint discussion paper on its approach to improve operational resilience in the financial sector. The regulators envisage that boards and senior managers can achieve better standards of operational resilience through increased focus on setting, monitoring and testing specific impact tolerances for key business services. […]

Greater scrutiny of corporate transactions and punitive measures for wrong-doings

The Government has released a consultation document as part of its programme of change for defined benefit pension schemes. Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes – A Stronger Pensions Regulator contains proposals to give the Pensions Regulator (tPR) increased ability to monitor corporate transactions and sets out “a robust framework for punitive measures to deter and […]

HMT, Bank of England and FCA set out approach to onshoring financial services legislation

The Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA have published information about how financial services legislation will be on-shored under the EU (Withdrawal) Act, in particular to ensure the (hopefully unlikely) ‘hard Brexit’ scenario is addressed, if the negotiated implementation period is not able to take effect from March 2019. The Treasury intends to lay […]

Law Commission opens consultation on expanded definition of ‘insurable interest’

The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission have published an updated bill that proposes an expansion to the concept of insurable interest for life-related insurance. By using the term ‘life-related insurance’, the bill intends to create a wider category of insurance than just traditional life insurance, thereby also covering other forms of insurance which […]

ESMA confirms end of LEI grace period

ESMA has issued a statement confirming that the six month grace period granted to those required by MiFIR to have a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI), will end on 2 July 2017. ESMA will now work with national competent authorities to develop a supervision action plan which focuses on compliance with LEI reporting requirements.

Pensions Regulator CEO to step down

The Chief Executive of the Pensions Regulator (TPR), Lesley Titcomb, is stepping down at the end of her four year term in February 2019. Since she became Chief Executive in 2015, TPR has focused on becoming a more visible and proactively engaged regulator with the aim of ensuring that pension scheme members receive the benefits […]

Carillion inquiry criticises regulator

Carillion’s rise and spectacular fall was a story of “recklessness, hubris and greed”. Last week, the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee published the final report of their joint inquiry into the collapse of Carillion – a “giant and unsustainable corporate time bomb”. If, as the report states, Carillion […]

Tribunal agrees Box Clever support

The Upper Tribunal has decided that it is reasonable for the Pensions Regulator to require companies from the corporate group of ITV to provide support for the Box Clever Group Pension Scheme. The scheme has 2,800 members and a funding deficit of around £115 million. Box Clever was formed in 2000 as a joint venture […]

RBS to pay £3.5bn to pension scheme ahead of ring-fencing

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay contributions of up to £3.5 billion to its pension scheme in readiness for UK ring-fencing legislation taking effect from 1 January 2026. RBS has agreed a  Memorandum of Understanding with the trustee of the Main Scheme of the RBS Group Pension Fund under which it will […]