PLSA AC 18: Customer journey and value for money priorities for FCA/TPR joint strategy

The customer journey and value for money for pension savers are the two main areas of priority for The Pensions Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority’s joint pensions strategy, it has been revealed.

In a panel session at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s annual conference, TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb, and FCA director of policy David Geale spoke about the joint pensions strategy launched today, 18 October.

Titcomb said that it is important that people know the regulators work closely together, and said the joint strategy is “designed to create an even closer working relationship between the two bodies”.

Geale explained that the strategy sets out the two main areas that they consider a priority for action. These are looking at the customer journey through pensions, and looking at where relevant setting, enforcing clear standards for delivering value for money

“That’s going to cover both trust and contract-based pensions, through accumulation and decumulation, thinking about how we can best help people to make good decisions, so I think that’s critical,” he said.

He said the regulators will “take stock of the content, language, timing and mode of delivery of the messages that are given to consumers, and we’re going to identify gaps or areas where thing might be done better”.

The regulators will be looking to develop a framework for assessing value for money across trust and contract-based schemes, which trustees and IGCs can use to structure their value for money assessments.

Responding to a question from PLSA policy board chair, Emma Douglas, on her concern that there is too much focus on charges when assessing value for money, Geale said: “I think charges are important, certainly we’ve seen right across the financial services spectrum a number of fairly grievous examples of where people are charges and we’ve taken action where we see it, but value for money is about a lot more than that.

“What we want is for people to understand what it is they are getting, and we want them to understand what it is they are paying for, and be treated fairly along the way.”

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