The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set new trustee guidance to assist trustees and members in making Pension Wise appointments.
TPR today issued six guides to assist trustee boards in meeting the standards set out in its “DC Code” and has revealed that trustees will be required to offer Pension Wise booking appointments to members from 1 June 2022.
Trustees must inform affected members who contact them about accessing their flexible pension benefits that Pension Wise can provide free, independent advice on their retirement options. This must include a statement that confirms the nature and purpose of the Pension Wise advice, as well as an offer to schedule a consultation.
The trustee must also explain how the affected member can organise the appointment themselves if it’s not possible to schedule a convenient appointment.
Until the trustee receives confirmation from the member that they have received guidance or have opted out of getting guidance, the trustee cannot advance with their application.
The new rules do not apply to applications that were submitted before June 1, 2022.
Pension Wise is a government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance about your defined contribution pension options.
The new guidance follows on from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) demanding pension schemes to refer savers to Pension Wise guidance before taking benefits.
The FCA’s policy statement on stronger nudges towards pensions guidance says “it is a cause for concern” that only a small proportion of consumers accessing their pension pot have used the free government-backed Pension Wise for guidance with their options.