The purpose of this page is to make sure that the application process is fully understood.
This section sets out:
- What is a Pension Adviser?
- What would this Licence allow you to do?
- Capital Requirements
- What do you need to submit?
What is a Pension Adviser
The Regulations define the regulated activity as – “advising another person on:
- The merits of the person participating in, or being a member of, a personal pension scheme or occupational pension scheme; or
- The acquisition or disposal of any interests, rights, benefits or other entitlements in, under or in connection with a personal pension scheme or an occupational pension scheme;
or offering or agreeing to give such advice.”
What would this Licence allow you to do?
The licence would allow you to provide a customer with advice in relation to:
- becoming a member of a personal pension scheme and/or a specific personal pension scheme;
- becoming a member of an occupational scheme and/or a particular occupational pension scheme
- advising on AVCs (whether or not free-standing)
- transferring rights and/or assets from one pension scheme to another pension scheme
- taking benefits from a pension scheme.
The regulation of Pension Advisers falls under the scope of the Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act 1989 (the Act). All requirements for the licensing of Pension Advisers can be found under the Financial Services (Pensions) Regulations 2017.
Firms are required, on an ongoing basis, to self-assess the level of financial resources required to ensure an orderly wind-down, subject to a minimum of the higher of:
- 4% of Turnover or
This assesment should take account of the excess on the firm's professional indemnity policy.
What do you need to submit?
Any other document the applicant considers the GFSC should take into consideration as part of the application.
The business plan should clearly and comprehensively set out:
- What services the firm intends to carry out and how it proposes to conduct the activity
- Board structure and terms of reference, including details of any sub-committees set up by the Board to assist them carry out their duties
- The firm’s risk management function
- An assessment of the main risks facing the firm and how these are to be mitigated
- The resources that are to be made available and the systems that the applicant intends to employ
- Target market
- How clients will be sourced
- How records will be maintained
- How, and by whom, any significant decisions will be made
- Structure charts outlining both in-house and outsourced operations
- Details of its compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering requirements
- Details of outsourcing arrangements and how the firm will monitor and oversee these, including the controls implemented by the firm on these arrangements
- If the applicant forms part of a larger group, details should also be provided of the activities of the group and a description of its structure.
- How the firm proposes to conduct activities
- How the firm will ensure that consumers are protected and their suitable needs are met
- Compliance with AML requirements (if applicable)
- What reporting lines the firm will establish
- Business Continuity Plan
The GFSC will be seeking evidence that the firm has considered the risk, compliance and operational issues associated with the proposed activities, as well as evidence that these have been documented and implemented.
Applicants should ensure that the business plan is coherent with the firm’s risk appetite and capacity.
Should you get an error when opening any of the forms, please check the FAQ's for guidance on how to override this.
The application fee must accompany your application. Please note, if you are applying for more than one licence, aggregate fees will apply.
|New applicants wishing to provide pension advice
|Existing firms providing pension advice
The annual fee is not payable until your application is approved. For details of these please refer to the current Fee Regulations.
Service Level Standards
The current service level standards are:
- To provide initial feedback to an application within 5 weeks of a complete application being received.
- Once all of the information has been received from an applicant and the application is therefore considered to be complete, we aim to provide an in principle decision within 4 weeks.
Please be advised that the above service level standards refer to the period of time in which the GFSC holds applications for consideration. Where we require further information or documents from an applicant the service level standards will be suspended until we receive the requested information. The period of time an application is pending because of factors outside the control of the GFSC will not be accounted for under the service level standards.
Please note that should we be unlikely to meet our SLS’s, we will advise you as soon as possible.