The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed creating two new regulatory returns for pension providers to collect retirement income data post-pension freedom and so replace current ad hoc reporting.
In a consultation out on 25 November the regulator proposed implementing new annual and biannual returns, which will collect information about sales as well as the distribution channels used to sell the products.
The data will also track providers' assets under administration and monitor consumer behaviour around withdrawals, including any advice used.
The FCA said it wanted to secure better protection for consumers while promoting effective competition in the market. The data will also allow it to target its regulatory interventions around particular providers and products.
The measure was first announced in the FCA's business plan for the current year published in April.
Pension freedom, which allows consumers to spend their retirement money in any way they like from age 55, has greatly influenced consumer behaviour at retirement, with many more opting for cash withdrawals and drawdown products as opposed to annuities.
Since the reforms were implemented in April 2015, the FCA has been monitoring the market by asking providers to submit data on an ad hoc basis.
It said: "Since the introduction of the pension freedoms, there have been a number of key market developments. The market is more fragmented with consumers accessing their savings through a wider range of products and options, and annuity sales are at lower levels than before the reforms.
"Against the backdrop of the fundamental changes in the retirement income market, data are even more important to help us advance our objectives.
"Building on our experience from the ad hoc data collection, we are now proposing to create two new regulatory returns to collect retirement income data and replace the current ad hoc return."
The FCA wants to introduce the new returns from 30 September 2018, covering the months beginning April 2018.
Firms can respond to the consultation until 24 February 2017.
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