News & Insights

FCA and TPR Join Forces to Improve Outcomes

The remaining priorities will be in ensuring the following important areas:

  • Improved products
  • Enhanced support for savers
  • Increasing retirement income for savers
  • Well-funded pensions

Lesley Titcomb, TPR’s Chief Executive, commented, “The joint strategy further strengthens our close working relationship with the FCA so that through our new approach we can together address earlier any issues that threaten the retirement outcomes for pension savers.

“Our goal is to ensure the people who run workplace pensions meet our expectations so that members can have confidence their savings are protected. We are being clearer, quicker and tougher in the pursuit of this goal and working collaboratively with the FCA is vital.”

Christopher Woolard, FCA’s Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, cautioned that although successfully delivering the strategy would depend on “the support and collaboration of the government” as well as the “industry and consumers themselves”, he was confident that the strategy would be able to “deliver an environment which contributes to people having higher incomes in their retirement.”

The initiative follows research by the regulators which found an average of £91,000 lost to pension scams in 2017; something which goes some way to explaining why only 25% of savers feel confident about choosing an appropriate product.

A welcome move

The joint initiative of the FCA and the TPR is undoubtedly a positive move as it will hopefully increase confidence while also improving consistency, efficiency and the overall consumer journey.

The fact that two regulators are working together is good news, particularly as they have identified clear aims and an adequate time frame. It just remains to be seen whether it produces positive outcomes in the long-term.

However, the government also has a role to play and it will be interesting to see whether the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury respond by developing their own joint strategy.

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The continued uptake of QROPS in France is likely to be a factor behind this, with the number of offshore pensions available in the world rising by four to pass the 1,250 mark for the first time – the fact that nine schemes were delisted was more than offset by the opening of 13 new schemes.

French QROPS remain one of the most popular. However, QROPS are available across 42 different jurisdictions, with Australia still the foremost QROPS centre; its 302 available schemes account for around one-quarter of the those available across the world.

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