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FCA pushes back review of pension provider oversight

Full report on IGCs shelved “to focus on other priorities”

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The FCA has delayed its full review of how effective independent governance committees are in ensuring consumers get value for money from their pension provider.

The regulator had promised a review of IGCs in its business plan last year. However, it has said in an update today that, given initial findings on the progress pension providers were making in 2016, it would be pushing back its full IGC review “to focus on other priorities”.

Last year’s review came after an Independent Project Board was set up by the Association of British Insurers to audit “at risk” pension schemes.

The FCA says: “During 2016 we conducted, jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions, a review of industry progress against the Independent Project Board’s recommendations on workplace pensions. In December 2016, we published our findings report.

“It was broadly supportive of the effectiveness of IGCs in implementing the Independent Project Board’s recommendations. Given this position we have decided to defer the full IGC review for the present to allow us to focus on other priorities.”

Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron welcomed the delay of the review.

He says: “The FCA is right to prioritise other activity over a review of the effectiveness of IGCs. IGCs have now been in place for 2 years and their second round of annual reporting provides evidence of ongoing challenge in the drive to ensure workplace members are receiving value for money.”

Most IGCs have found their providers are offering value for money. Others, including Royal London’s, have asked their providers to review policies on issues like exit fees.

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