Caps and Commissions

09 Jan 2015

The DWP has published ‘Better workplace pensions: Putting savers ‘interests first’. The document addresses 3 key areas:

  • Qualifying Pension Scheme Charge Cap  
  • Commission, Consultancy Charging and Active Member Discount Bans
  • Occupational Pension Scheme Trustee Governance

This legislation has wide ranging implication on clients, professional advisers and financial advisers but below are the key considerations around the charging cap and commission ban to be aware of.

The introduction of the charge cap on Workplace Pensions in April 15 has meant pension providers are in many cases being forced to reduce the charges they levying on a pension scheme member’s pension policy. This particularly applies to pension schemes where a financial adviser firm is attached to the scheme and who receives commission from the pension provider.

Although the outright commission banned comes into force in April 2016, the vast majority of pension providers are removing initial commission from schemes with effect from April 15 to pay towards the cost of reducing the charge on schemes down to the new charge cap rate.

This could mean:

  1. If you are a business that has a company pension arrangement with a financial adviser attached to it, to whom you do not pay an explicit fee for the services they provide, it is likely they will be asking for one in the very near future
  2. If you are a professional services firm with a client in the above situation they may well be contacting you for guidance and/or opinion
  3. If you are a professional services firm with a ‘business introducer’ relationship with a financial adviser that produces ‘income’ in relation to a client’s company pension scheme where commission is involved, these may very well cease or at least significantly reduce very shortly.

Wingate has worked on an explicit fee basis since 2008.  We have moved many clients from a commission to explicit fee basis and as such fully understand the challenges this present to clients. We take a flexible and long term view of our client relationships to achieve mutually beneficial terms for all parties.

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