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Status: You are viewing the version of the handbook as on 2009-03-31.

COBS 19.4 Open market options

COBS 19.4.1RRP

In this section:

  1. (1)

    ‘intended retirement date’ means:

    1. (a)

      the date (according to the most recent recorded information available to the provider) when the scheme member intends to retire, or to bring the benefits in the scheme into payment, whichever is the earlier; or

    2. (b)

      if there is no such date, the scheme member's state pension age;

  2. (2)

    ‘open market option’ means the option to use the proceeds of a personal pension scheme, stakeholder pension scheme, FSAVC, retirement annuity contract or pension buy-out contract to purchase an annuity on the open market; and

  3. (3)

    ‘open market option statement ’means:

    1. (a)

      the FSA’s “Your pension: it’s time to choose” fact sheet, together with a written summary of the retail client's open market option, which is sufficient for the client to be able to make an informed decision about whether to exercise, or to decline to exercise, an open market option; or

    2. (b)

      a written statement that gives materially the same information.

When to send open market options statement and six-week reminder

COBS 19.4.2RRP
  1. (1)

    If a retail client asks a firm for a retirement quotation more than four months before the client’s intended retirement date, the firm must give the client an open market option statement with or as part of its reply, unless the firm has given the client such a statement in the last 12 months.

  2. (2)

    If a firm does not receive such a request, it must provide a retail client with an open market option statement between four and six months before the client’s intended retirement date.

COBS 19.4.3RRP

The firm must:

  1. (1)

    remind the retail client about the open market option statement; and

  2. (2)

    tell the client what sum of money will be available to purchase an annuity on the open market;

at least six weeks before the client’s intended retirement date.

COBS 19.4.4RRP

If a retail client with an open market option tells a firm that he is considering, or has decided:

  1. (1)

    to discontinue an income withdrawal arrangement; or

  2. (2)

    to take a further sum of money from his pension to buy an annuity as part of a phased retirement,

the firm must give the client an open market option statement, unless the firm has given the client such a statement in the last 12 months.