FCA to collect £117.6m levies for Maps; £4.7m for dashboard development

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be responsible for collecting £117.6m in levies for the new Money and Pensions Service (Maps), it has revealed.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has requested that the regulator collects the money on behalf of Maps, which will be split between the body’s key functions, including £25.9m for guidance, £55.8m for debt advice and £35.9m for pension guidance.

As part of the £35.9m for pension guidance, Maps will allocate £4.7m for leading the provision of an industry funded pensions dashboard.

The service, bringing together Pension Wise, The Pensions Advisory Service and the Money Advice Service, officially launched on 6 April and kicked off with a number of listening events across the UK.

According to the FCA, the DWP said the budget will provide 205,000 pension freedom guidance sessions over 2019/20.

On the levy fees, the FCA said: “For 2019/20 we propose to allocate Maps costs to fee-blocks on the same proportions we used in 2018/19 for the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise.

“The Maps has not been in operation for sufficient time to have produced data to justify changing the allocations. During this year we will discuss with DWP, HM Treasury and the Maps whether to allocate Maps costs to firms differently in future.”

The costs will be allocated across five levy fee-blocks, similar to Pensions Wise, with deposit acceptors, insurers and portfolio managers each contributing 24 per cent of the budget each, with investment fund managers contributing 16 per cent and advisory arrangers the remaining 12 per cent.

The Pension Wise budget for 2018/19 was £20.3m, however, due to an underspend, the FCA collected £16.9m last year.

The FCA reiterated that it will have no oversight of the Maps beyond collecting its funding.

The regulator added that it would continue to apply discount to fees for all European Economic Area firms, even if the UK leaves the European Union without an agreement by 31 October 2019.

The consultation will close on 29 May, with a view to publishing a policy arrangement in July 2019.

Formerly the Single Financial Guidance Body, the body will begin the development of its new national strategy centred on improving the nation’s financial wellbeing.

The government-backed service will undertake 10 roadshows across the UK from now until the end of June, in order to develop its national strategy and three-year corporate plan.

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