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FSA passes onus for trees on to providers

The FSA is being accused of reneging its responsibilities over stakeholder

decision trees by leaving pension companies to make the final decision.

Providers believe the regulator is preparing to pass the buck by leaving

life offices to address issues such as the minimum income guarantee and

contracting out of Serps.

FSA officials have privately voiced concerns over how decision trees would

work and who would take responsibility for the advice they provide. Pension

experts believe the move would absolve the FSA of blame from a misbuying

scandal, leaving providers to take the flak.

Scottish Equitable pensions development manager Steve Cameron says: “There

are some areas where an identifiable standard or regulator-endorsed

decision tree would be very helpful. Who in the private sector would feel

comfortable setting rules for means- tested benefits and contracting out

which are both open to Government intervention?”

Maddison Monetary Management managing director Mark Howard says: “You

would think that a Government body should be taking decisive action and

responsibility.”

Comment, p25

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