FCA-regulated firms will continue to fund the cost of pensions guidance and debt advice as the government moves to a new single public guidance body, the regulator has confirmed.
Business contributing to the cost of debt advice in the UK will continue to do so but through split levies – one administered by devolved authorities in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and one for the new Single Financial Guidance Body specifically, the FCA says.
The SFGB is set to role the functions of the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and The Pensions Advisory Service.
In a consultation paper released today, the watchdog says the SFGB levy will replace MAS and Pension Wise levies for the 2019/20 financial year, meaning levies changes will cancel each other out.
The SFGB levy rules started this year and are made up of money advice, debt advice, and pensions guidance levies.
This applies to both the SFGB money advice and debt advice levies.
The FCA says the SFGB levies contribute to the recovery of the Department for Work and Pensions’ costs of operating the combined Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and TPAS.
Monies from SFGB levies for this financial year were predominantly used for sett-up costs, however.
On-account payments are due on 1 April while the balance of the fee or levy is due 1 September 2019.
The regulator also outlined plans to scrap levies for mutual societies registered on the mutuals register but not authorised or regulated by the FCA.
Costs for the register as a public service will now be recovered as an FCA overhead.
It says: “This would represent an addition of approximately 0.3 per cent to the fees of variable fee-payers.”
Responses to the proposals in the consultation are due by 14 January, with the FCA’s feedback and rules then expected next February or March.