FCA launches further consultation on regulatory framework for pensions dashboards

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a further consultation on the regulatory framework for pensions dashboard service firms.

The government recently amended the Regulated Activities Order (RAO) to bring the new activity of operating a pensions dashboards service within its regulation.

Given this, the FCA is seeking views on its plans to include guidance in its Perimeter Guidance Manual (PERG) to help firms understand the scope of this new regulated activity and when FCA authorisation and permission is required.

The FCA is also seeking views on two "substantive" changes to the regulatory framework, including requirements for firms to present the consumer with choices for their initial next steps after viewing their pensions data on a pensions dashboards service.

It also proposed that firms provide certain communications that will help ensure consumers can take appropriate care when their selected next step takes them outside the regulated PDS.

In addition to this, it has revised its data export proposals, in a move that is expected to create a single, consistent route for consumers to share their dashboard data with an FCA regulated investment adviser.

Commenting on the consultation, Hymans Robertson head of DC markets, Paul Waters, said: “Pension dashboards are long overdue and a means to helping millions of people get a better picture of their retirement savings.

“ To deliver the best customer outcomes we need to answer the ‘So what?’ for people when they see their data.

“The industry has all the tools to do this and create simple and compelling onward customer journeys to inform and guide people.

“We risk losing the benefit of this from an overly prescriptive and restrictive approach to managing customers through the dashboard journey and post view services. The Consumer Duty framework already protects customers and should be enforced robustly.

“Providers must be able to deliver the most comprehensive customer engagement and support model for dashboard customers if we are to leverage the full value from dashboards and help address the DC adequacy challenge.”

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