Guernsey to introduce regulated pension product

May 2017

Written by James Travers

Guernsey is to revise and modernise the island’s regulatory and supervisory framework of pension schemes and their providers.

The objectives of the initiative include better protecting the interests of investors, improving the competitive position of the island, and to future proof the supervisory framework ahead of the introduction of the States’ secondary pension scheme. Interested parties can read more on the secondary pension here.

While Guernsey has a deserved reputation for excellence in the regulation and supervision of financial services, the scope of the island’s regulations does not presently extend to the service providers to pension schemes nor to the schemes themselves.

Under the proposed regime, the formation, administration and management of pensions schemes will be added to the list of regulated activities set out under the island’s Regulation of Fiduciaries Law.

The proposals take the form of a set of conduct of business rules applying to pension providers which require scheme notification and reporting. The rules also include provisions for the regulation of schemes themselves, with will apply universally to new and existing, domestic and international, personal, group and occupational, defined contribution and defined benefit schemes.

These rules will, amongst other things, enable Guernsey pension providers to apply exemptions from reporting under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), ensuring that pension schemes operated in Guernsey are treated at least as favourably as those in other jurisdictions.

As a member of the Early Adopters Group, Guernsey providers have until 30 June 2017 to exchange reportable information on pensions schemes unless exempt. It is proposed therefore, that the regime will come into effect in advance of this date.

A consultation is now open and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) have asked all interest parties to respond by 5 June.