The new pension flexibilities announced at Budget 2014 will allow individuals aged 55 and over greater choice around how they access their pension savings.
To ensure that the flexibilities operate as intended from 6 April 2015, amendments are required to occupational pension schemes regulations.
These amendments will:
ensure that the transfer process continues to operate smoothly
ensure that trustees and managers give scheme members information about their retirement options and the new pensions guidance service from April 2015
require scheme members who wish to exchange safeguarded benefits for flexible benefits to take ‘appropriate independent advice’ before trustees can deal with their request
require employers to pay for advice that they have encouraged a scheme member to take up
To allow the pensions industry sufficient time to plan for these changes, we have published draft versions of the amendment regulations. These are still subject to final legal checks and Parliamentary approval in early March 2015, so they should not be treated as finalised.