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Freedom & choice in pensions: HM Treasury response and FCA consultation

CII Policy Briefing

Publication date:

23 July 2014

Last updated:

22 September 2017


Policy and Public Affairs

Following its consultation on the Budget 2014 pension reforms, HM Treasury has now set out its response on various aspects, particularly the guaranteed guidance. Additionally, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a consultation going into more detail on implementation.

  • Provision of guaranteed guidance will be limited to organisations reviewed by HM Treasury as being independent, with no "actual or potential conflict of interest". This includes the Money Advice Service (MAS) and the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) as well as other "trusted, consumer-facing organisations" including Citizens Advice and Age UK.
  • The FCA will establish a new separate oversight regime to set and maintain standards and monitor compliance, and the Treasury will enact legislation to provide the FCA with the duties and powers to do this.
  • The FCA has started in this role by publishing a consultation on the guaranteed guidance delivery, setting out the high-level standards, as well as signposting duties for pension providers and the funding process.
  • The standards themselves are very close to what the CII proposed in its consultation response, including a section on professional standards.

Next steps

  • The FCA consultation closes on 22 September, after which it will set out the final standards and rules in late autumn. The near-final rules concerning the levy are expected in the FCA's annual consultation in October.
  • Meanwhile the Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be taking forward two pieces of legislation: the Pensions Schemes Bill and the Pensions Tax Bill, which will implement the reforms. The DWP will also be publishing a progress update in Autumn 2014.

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Related documents

HM Treasury consultation: freedom & choice in pensions »

The Chancellor's pensions reforms »   

This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.


  • Mrs Karen Chapman
  • 30 September 2014 01:53PM

Good information