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Statement on evidence-gathering in support of Government consultation on flexible pension access

Ref: PN15-28
Wednesday 1 July 2015

The Pensions Regulator has today commenced work on a survey on the prevalence of exit fees and charges and the transfer process in occupational defined contribution pension schemes. The FCA is undertaking a complementary request for data from pension providers.

The survey will be conducted amongst a representative sample of schemes to inform the Government’s forthcoming consultation on options to address excessive early exit penalties and to improve the transfer process. We expect to publish the results of this survey later in the summer.

The information gathered will complement our existing discussions with multi-employer and large single employer schemes that already provide, or are considering offering, new flexible decumulation options. These discussions will examine more broadly the operational readiness, governance and member communications of these schemes. We are also undertaking activity to understand the impact of new flexibilities on defined benefit (DB) schemes, any subsequent risks and the application of our regulatory guidance.

We remain committed to making pension flexibilities work in the interests of retirement savers and expect to conduct further research on decumulation, to include costs and charges, in the autumn. We will consider with Government and the FCA what further action may be required to promote good outcomes for members.

Editor's notes

The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the employer’s plans for sustainable growth (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

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