FCA reveals Pension Wise policing plans

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The FCA has revealed how it will be policing the organisations providing Government-backed guidance service Pension Wise.

In a policy statement published today, the regulator says if guidance providers fail to comply with its standards it can recommend redress is paid to users as well as steps to prevent future failures.

Guidance providers are not regulated as authorised firms by the FCA but the regulator is responsible for setting and monitoring the standards of the service.

The FCA says: “We may recommend that the designated guidance provider make redress to those affected by this failure.

“While our monitoring would consider patterns of complaints in its analysis, we are only likely to make a recommendation that a designated guidance provider make redress in a limited number of circumstances.

“These include, but are not limited to, where the designated guidance provider has breached the standards resulting in a financial loss for a significant number of individuals.”

The regulator can also escalate concerns to the Treasury and ask the department to compel providers to implement its recommendations.

Examples of recommendations include: where a guidance provider refers a user to an inappropriate source of information or advice; or where a conflict of interest arises between the provider in its role within Pension Wise and its other activities.

Individuals’ complaints will be handled by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, not the FCA.

Citizens Advice and The Pensions Advisory Service are delivering Pension Wise, but the Government has left the door open for other organisations to be involved in the future.