Individual pension accounts are unlikely to hit the market before October, if at all, despite original Treasury plans for an April launch, claim providers.
The FSA is to issuing a consultation paper on IPAs this week. It then plans to produce a final draught of regulations before April 6, after which providers will be able to begin develop products.
But providers say it will take at least six months from the release of the regulations before they will be able to offer a product. Furthermore, many believe the products are not viable without a complete structural overhaul and are having second thoughts about entering the market.
Gartmore head of retail pensions Nick Hodges says: “Paula Diggle's original idea was that these could be carried from scheme to scheme but they cannot because the environment does not exist. They are supposed to promote flexibility, but they do not.”
FSA spokeswoman Jackie Blyth says: “Our job is to ensure appropriate regulations are in place for IPAs, not that providers choose to offer them.”