The Pension Schemes Office is under fire from IFAs and life offices over
its deadline for the inclusion of pension sharing on divorce provisions for
The deadline for the new provisions, which must be included in all new
personal pensions and occupational schemes, has been set for this week.
But providers and IFAs were only made aware of the new deadline, which
affects all new and pipeline cases waiting approval, after the May Day bank
The PSO told life offices and IFAs of the need to comply to the new rules
through Update 64, which was dated April 28, and gave companies just 12
days to ensure new schemes comply.
The move is especially problematic for small self-administered schemes as
many rely on transfers into the scheme to facilitate loans to its members.
However, it is forbidden to move without official approval. Other schemes
can potentially receive interim approval until complying with the new
The problem has been exacerbated by the PSO's refusal to provide
guidelines on the form that the provisions should take.
IFAs are complaining they they still have not updated details although
life offices have received details through the ABI.
Richard Jacobs Pension and Trustee Services managing director Richard
Jacobs says: “Effectively, the PSO is putting a hold on approving all
pension schemes because of a nonsensical belief they can issue a document
and act upon it within days when I have not even been supplied with any
Marathon man and Chislehurst IFA Brian Dennehy may be in the running to be
the toughest man in financial services, having attempted a gruelling
150-mile race in the scorching Sahara desert. Brian is recuperating after
the event which saw him run on red-hot stones on badly blistered feet in a
sterling effort for charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Correspondent's Week, p31