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Rules on collection of pension freedom data finalised

Nathan Long

The FCA has confirmed rules on how and when it will collect data about those accessing their pensions. From Nathan Long – Senior Pension Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Firms must report on a wide range of retirement data, but crucially covers; The rate of withdrawal from income drawdown plans; The features of annuities that are bought; Defined benefit transfers; Partial drawing of pensions; FCA will collect data through two reports, with one collected every 6 months and the second once a year.

Reporting starts from 1st April 2018, with the first submission due within 45 days of 30th September 2018. Understanding the choices people are making when accessing their pension is absolutely critical in ensuring the Pension Freedoms are as successful as they are popular.

These rules could help, but data must not dominate and regulators should still take time to speak to people. Retirement is very personal and everyone has their own unique set of work, family, financial and health circumstances which drive the decisions they make. The numbers only tell a small part of the story.

The rules require firms to report back around the end of the tax year period, traditionally a time when clients are busy planning their finances. Forcing firms to report at this point risks dragging resources away from where they are needed most, helping people with their pensions.’

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