The Government is introducing legislation to ensure that individuals are made aware of Pension Wise guidance as part of the application process for taking or transferring their defined contribution (DC) pension savings. The aim is to protect people by helping them make informed decisions.
Pension Wise is a government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance about DC pension options.
LGPS administering authorities will need to offer to book a Pension Wise appointment for members as part of the application process for taking in-house AVCs. The requirement also applies when a member aged 50 or over makes contact about transferring their in-house AVCs to another defined contribution scheme to access them.
Members are able to opt out of taking Pension Wise guidance.
The Nudge Regulations affect LGPS members when they apply, or contact you about applying, to take or transfer their AVCs. The requirement to refer AVC members to Pension Wise:
A member can opt out of taking guidance. Where the member is applying to take payment of their AVC in the LGPS, they will generally need to opt out in a separate communication. Members do not need to opt out of guidance in a separate communication when they apply to transfer their AVCs.
You must not proceed with an application unless you receive confirmation that the member has received guidance or opted out of receiving guidance.
In this guide, the term ‘guidance’ means guidance from Pension Wise.
The Nudge Regulations refer to ‘any person’ applying or making contact about applying to take or transfer AVCs. In this guide, we assume it is always the member that applies or makes contact.