2018 has been an eventful year all round. In the world of pensions, advisers have been working hard to meet new regulations and adapt to an ever changing landscape. Continued uncertainty around a Brexit deal or no-deal has many frozen in place when it comes to investment plans, with risks that come with tactical moves considered to be too high to take.
So here we take a look at what is already on the agenda for 2019 when it comes to our finances.
The Single Financial Guidance Body, which merges The Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise, and the Money Advice Service is due to officially launch, bringing together the provision of debt advice, money guidance and pension guidance for the first time.
For those born from 6 December 1953 to 5 October 1954 stepped increase in the State Pension age from 65 to age 66 begins. The Government is planning further increases, which will raise the State Pension age from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.
(The State Pension age is going to be kept under review, which means that it could change again in the future, depending on different factors, such as changes in life expectancy)
The statutory deadline for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to publish its final report into the investment consultants market investigation. (The CMA is investigating the supply and acquisition of investment consultancy and fiduciary management services in the UK)
The UK is due to leave the European Union (a transitional period could apply through to 31 December 2020).
The deadline for master trusts (a multi-employer occupational scheme where each employer has its own division within the master arrangement) to have applied for authorisation under The Pension Regulator’s new regime.
The launch of the Pensions Dashboard – designed to give savers information on how much they have in their pension pots and the funds they can expect to access when they reach retirement.
The FCA final rules and guidance (PS18/8) implementing asset management market study remedies and changes to its handbook for the collective investment schemes sourcebook, come into force (on risk-free box profits).
End of tax year 2018/19.
Minimum auto enrolment contributions increase from a minimum total of 5% with a 2% minimum employer contribution, to 8%, with 3% minimum employer contribution.
All employers with staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment must take action to make sure at least the minimum amounts are being paid into their pension scheme. This applies to those who have either set up a pension scheme for automatic enrolment or decided to use an existing scheme.
However, those who do not have any staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment, or who are already paying above the increased minimum amounts do not need to take any further action.
Note those for using a defined benefits pension scheme the increases do not apply
The authorisation process for existing master trusts will conclude. The regulator has six months from the date of application to make its decision but will announce decisions in monthly groups.