The FCA has published a Consultation Paper 14/11: Retirement reforms and the guidance guarantee (CP14/11). CP14/11 is intended to be read in conjunction with the government’s formal response to its March 2014 consultation on pensions reforms.

The guidance will be of interest to:

  • providers of pensions and retirement income products;
  • trustees of Defined Contribution (DC) schemes (and schemes with a DC element);
  • employer sponsors of DC schemes (and schemes with a DC element);
  • providers of other financial services products that play a role in consumers’ retirement planning;
  • those providing advice and information in this area already;
  • distributors of financial products, in particular retirement income products;
  • trade bodies representing financial services firms;
  • consumer representative bodies;
  • charities and other organisations with a particular interest in retirement and/or financial services more generally; and
  • individual consumers.

Delivery partners, that is those that are independent, have no conflicts of interest but will not be FCA-authorised, will be expected to comply with a set of standards that are to be drawn up and monitored by the FCA. Those standards will cover the following:

  • ensuring the guidance is free at point of delivery;
  • consistency and quality of the delivery of the guidance;
  • professional standards;
  • communications;
  • systems and controls;
  • complaint management;
  • the information the delivery partners will use in giving the guidance;
  • content of the guidance session;
  • helping the consumer to take the next step; and
  • providing a record of the guidance.

The deadline for responses to CP14/11 is 22 September 2014. The FCA intends to publish final standards and rules in a policy statement in late autumn 2014.

View CP14/11 – Retirement reforms and the guidance guarantee, 21 July 2014

View Freedom and choice in pensions: government response to the consultation, 21 July 2014