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Press comment: Joint pension strategy paves way for joined-up future

18/10/2018

If you’re covering the joint strategy on pension regulation from the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Regulator please see the following comment from Ian Browne, pensions expert at Quilter. 

Ian highlights that the strategy does not have substantive changes to regulation, however it paves the way for a joined-up approach to pension regulation in the future and the next step needs to be something similar for legislative changes. Meanwhile, the two new initiatives: the review into the customer journey and work to develop a set of standards for value for money are sensible steps.   

Ian BrowneIan says:

“The prospect of widespread pensioner poverty is a recurring nightmare for the regulators as reams of figures show a population struggling to navigate the pension landscape.

“For a number of years there has been an onslaught of pensions regulation and legislation and there is a growing sense of fatigue over continually tinkering from all sides. The overall theme of The Pensions Regulator and the FCA joining forces for a more coordinated and holistic approach to pension regulation can only be a good thing.

“But is this a marriage of equals? Unlikely. As defined benefit provision declines and more people become self-employed, more responsibility for regulating pensions and ensuring good outcomes will fall under the FCA, who already have a bigger budget and resource than TPR.

“The joint strategy issued by the two groups is not a game changer in terms of action points, but it is in terms of setting them on a path of being a combined front.  Which offers the public and the industry a glimmer of hope for future stability in the pensions arena. Something the Chancellor needs to be mindful of before interfering with pensions in his budget.

“There has been a desire for a long time for pension policy to be handled independently of Government in a similar way to how the Bank of England sets interest rates. If TPR and the FCA are able to agree a joint strategy, this is a stepping stone in the right direction to that end. The next step is for DWP and HMT to have a joint pension strategy and for all pension legislatives changes (including tax changes) to be set via joint consultation.

“The two regulators make a point that their power has its limits and challenges remain around certain pension initiatives and how to improve them, such as the pensions dashboard and the single financial guidance body. However, they take the opportunity to highlight two new initiatives: a review into customer communications and clarifying the meaning of value for money.

“The review into the consumer journey has potential to help the industry ensure its communications are effective. We hope that, along with information gathering, the regulators will help provide a template for a simplified annual statement as the power of simplicity cannot be overestimated.

“The term value for money is ambiguous and means different things to different people. However, the industry is under increasing pressure to measure it. Having a set of common principles and standards will be particularly welcome to Independent Governance Committees.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990 004932kathleen.gallagher@quilter.com

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.1 billion in customer investments (as at 30 September 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

• The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors

• Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning

• The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers

• The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions

• The International business to Quilter International

• The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance

• Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.