TPR urges trustees to prepare for ‘stronger nudge’ regulations

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has urged trustees to prepare for changes that will require them to give defined contribution (DC) pension savers a ‘stronger nudge’ towards booking Pension Wise appointments.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rules are expected to be laid this month (January) following its consultation, which was launched in July.

Trustees will be required to offer to make a Pension Wise appointment for individuals seeking to access or transfer their pension once the regulations come into force.

If ‘reasonable’ steps have been taken to make an appointment but no suitable date or time can be found, trustees must provide savers with details to make an appointment themselves.

Trustees will be required to ensure that savers have either received or opted out of receiving guidance.

In a blog, TPR executive director of regulatory policy, analysis and affairs, David Fairs, said that the regulator planned to produce its own guidance for trustees and administrators ahead of the new regulations coming into force.

“There is still work to do to tackle savers’ apathy when it comes to engaging with their pension,” Fairs wrote.

“Pension Wise fills a specific purpose well, but savers should be aware of how and when they can access the most suitable guidance for them at their stage in their pension journey.

“MoneyHelper, from the Money and Pensions Service (Maps), provides other guidance services, and is planning to enhance its guidance offering by directing consumers to the service appropriate for their needs.”

Fairs noted that Maps was starting work on a Pension Wise digital appointments to meet increased demand for the service and encourage more savers to access guidance.

“We know that these changes will require changes in scheme processes – which is why I hope trustees along with their administrators will be preparing for them now,” he continued.

“Guidance and pensions should go together like fish and chips. I hope trustees will recognise this vital link so that savers benefit from receiving the right guidance, at the right time and ultimately make the right decisions.”

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