Pensions law and regulation timeline 2018 – 2019

We set out below some key dates in the pensions legal and regulatory reform calendar. Watch out for updates from us on these important developments.

10 October 2018

Pensions law and regulation timeline 2018 – 2019

  • 01 October 2018
    The Pension Regulator’s Master Trust supervision and enforcement policy

    The Pension Regulator issued the final policy on 1 October 2018. The policy sets out the supervision and enforcement approach for master trusts once they are authorised.

  • October 2018
    Unsuitable pension transfer advice

    The FCA published new rules and guidance on how advice should be provided to consumers on pension transfers where consumers are considering giving up safeguarded benefits, primarily for transfers from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes on 26 March 2018. 

    The FCA has published a policy statement PS(18/20) on improving the quality of pension transfer advice. 

    The FCA will do further work on the different charging structures used for transfer advice. 

    Update: In November 2018, the FCA published its latest final rules and guidance in relation to pension transfer advice – please read our summary article.

  • The extended regime will commence for insurers on 10 December 2018
    Senior Management and Certification Regime extended to insurers

    The SM&CR replaces the FCA’s revised Approved Persons Regime. The PRA’s Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) that currently apply to insurers will be amended.

  • End of 2018
    Ban on cold calling in relation to pensions: consultation on regulations

    The FCA is working alongside the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions on legislative measures to combat pension scams, in particular cold calling. 

    The consultation in respect of regulations banning pension cold calling ended on 17 August 2018. The aim is for the regulations to be put before Parliament in Autumn 2018.

  • End of 2018
    The Pensions Regulator and the FCA joint strategic approach to pension regulation

    In March 2018, the Pensions Regulator and the FCA joined together to consult on their joint approach to pensions regulation. This sets out how the regulators will work together to tackle the risks facing the pensions sector in the next 5–10 years.

    The Pensions Regulator and the FCA will publish information on their final strategic approach at the end of 2018.



  • End of 2018
    Department for Work and Pensions: pension costs and transparency inquiry

    This inquiry focuses on whether the pensions industry provides sufficient transparency around charges, investment strategy and performance to consumers.

    The deadline for written submissions was 3 September 2018. The committee are currently hearing evidence from experts.

    The inquiry is expected to conclude at the end of 2018.



  • End of 2018
    Effective competition in non-workplace pensions

    The FCA launched an open consultation in February 2018, in order to better understand the market for non-workplace pensions. The aim is to understand whether competition is working effectively in this market and whether there is a need to go further to protect consumers.

    The consultation has now closed and the FCA plan to publish a paper which will provide feedback on the themes arising from the data collection and discussion paper at the end of 2018.

  • End of 2018
    White Paper: Protecting defined benefit pension schemes
    Consultation on Scheme consolidation

    The White Paper announces that the government will be consulting on the design of a legal framework and authorisation regime for commercial vehicles offering to consolidate DB schemes.

  • End of 2018
    CMA market investigation into the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services in the UK

    In September 2017, the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) launched a market investigation into the the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services in the UK at the request of the FCA. The CMA identified competition concerns within both the investment consultancy and, to a greater degree, the fiduciary management market. As a result, it has proposed a number of reforms.

    The CMA invited feedback on the provisional decision by 24 August. The statutory deadline for the CMA’s final report is 13 March 2019 but it is aiming to publish it before the end of 2018.

  • End of 2018 / early 2019
    FCA interactive workshops for representatives from regulated firms who are qualified to give Defined Benefit pension transfer advice

    From October 2018, the FCA will be holding workshops across the UK for representatives from regulated firms. The workshop is intended to highlight the key points that firms should consider when operating in this market and to reiterate the FCA’s expectations when representatives are transacting this type of business.

    Registration for the sessions is open from October to December 2018. More dates and locations for 2019 will be announced at the end of 2018.

  • Early 2019
    FCA response to Law Commission recommendations on pension funds and social investment

    The Law Commission made several recommendations in relation to the Independent Governance Committees (IGCs). The FCA intends to consult on rules changes in the first quarter of 2019. This consultation will require IGCs to report on firm’s policies in relation to:

    - evaluating environmental, social and governance concerns, including climate change
    - taking account of members’ ethical concerns
    - stewardship. 

    The FCA is also considering changes to its permitted links rules for insurers, to clarify how pension schemes can manage some element of illiquid investment within their funds. This is because infrastructure investment provides opportunities for social impact but such investments are typically for the long-term and may not be readily realisable.

  • January 2019
    Retirement Outcomes Review

    The FCA published its final findings of its Retirement Outcomes Review in June 2018. The Review looked at how the retirement income market has evolved since pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. As part of this, FCA consulted on a package of proposed remedies to address the concerns identified.

    The consultation period closed on 06 September 2018. The policy statement is expected in January 2019.

  • 2019
    White Paper: Protecting defined benefit pension schemes
    The Pension Regulator consultation: a Stronger Pensions Regulator.

    The consultation sets out proposals to strengthen or improve the Pensions Regulator’s powers to increase protections for defined benefit scheme members. 

    The consultation process ran from 26 June 2018 until 21 August 2018.

    We are expecting the outcome of the consultation in early 2019. 

  • 2019
    White Paper: Protecting defined benefit pension schemes
    Consultation on the revised Defined Benefits Funding Code of Practice.

    The Pensions Regulator is talking to interested stakeholders about the design of a revised funding standard with a view to a formal consultation on a new Defined Benefits Funding Code of Practice in 2019.

    The new funding standard will inform the content of the new Chair’s statement.

  • Firms affected will move to the new regime on 9 December 2019
    Senior Management and Certification Regime extended to all solo regulated financial services firms

    The FCA has published Policy Statement PS18/14 (Extending the Senior Managers & Certification Regime to FCA firms) containing near-final rules to implement the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR). SM&CR will replace the current Approved Person regime for FCA authorised firm and aims to strengthen individual accountability in financial services.

  • 2020
    Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR)

    The FAMR made recommendations to improve access to financial advice by seeking, in part, to lower costs and increase the accessibility of advice. 

    The FCA and the Treasury are going to conduct a review of the outcomes from FAMR in 2019. The findings will be published in 2020.


For more information, please contact Kari McCormick, Clive Pugh or a member of the Pensions team.  

Key contact

Kari McCormick

Kari McCormick Partner

  • Head of Financial Services 
  • Insurance
  • Dispute Resolution

Perspectives on financial services: Pensions

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