The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it will require pension providers to give consumers a much stronger push to seeking free pension guidance via Pensions Wise before accessing their pension savings.
The new stronger ‘nudge’ rules will take effect from 1 June 2022.
Clearly the regulator wants more people to seek guidance before accessing their pensions and these new rules apply to people with private pensions such as stakeholder pensions, personal pensions and self invested personal pensions.
Pension Wise is a free guidance service, it is not financial advice, overseen by the regulator and funded by the financial industry. It is free to you.
From June 2022, pension providers will be required to
Explain the nature and purpose of Pension Wise guidance.
Refer consumers to the Pension Wise to seek appointments.
Offer to book a Pension Wise appointment on behalf of the consumer or sign post them to exactly where they can book an appointment.
It is of course good for all consumers to be guided on their pensions and then seek advice. What we do not like though is that the FCA is yet again, and via the back door, forcing consumers away from regulated, qualified advice to non-qualified guidance. Why would the signposting not include pointers to independent financial advice too?
No doubt the hyperlinks from pension company websites to Pension Wise website will force it to the top of the search result tables too.