Christine Hallett looks at what is happening in the pensions world, both for individual and corporate
As always, so much is happening in the pensions world, both for individual and corporate pensions, which have implications on all those pension professionals wanting to create a trustworthy pensions industry.
So, the main areas of news are:
• The Pensions Regulator has launched a hard-hitting campaign to illustrate the threat pensions liberation can pose to people's pensions.
The Pensions Regulator has teamed up with the Financial Services Authority, HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Action Fraud and the Pensions Advisory Service to launch the information campaign.
It includes a warning and guidance for administrators and pension providers to include in the information they provide to members of pension schemes requesting transfers. There is also a detailed information leaflet for members who want to understand the consequences of these offers; and a pack for pension professionals, including a checklist and examples of what to look out for.
• The date for receipt of responses to the FSA‘s capital adequacy consultation is 22 February. If implemented as stated, we will see a change in the landscape of SIPP operators going forward. Those with robust systems and controls and good financial standing will almost certainly be the winners.
• The FSA SIPP operator workshops have all been held. I attended the Nottingham workshop, which I thought was well structured and the FSA laid out clearly their expectations of SIPP operators.
It is incumbent on the SIPP industry to take heed of their statements and ensure their houses are in good order. For those of us with a strong systems and controls ethos, there is not too much to worry about, but we cannot be complacent, and must ensure we all do our piece to satisfy the FSA that we have well run organisations.
• Auto-enrolment is hotting up with more corporate advisory firms seeking strong pension propositions for their clients. The Pensions Regulator has a team of industry liaison people talking to pension companies about the implications of providing qualifying workplace pensions and recognising the need across all UK companies for more education.
It is welcomed that The Pensions Regulator recognises the need for the industry to be supported and prepared for the complexities of bringing auto-enrolment solutions to market.
Christine Hallett is chief executive of Carey Pensions UK
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