Related provisions for COBS 6.1D.2

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COBS 6.1C.3RRP
In this section ‘giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme’ includes:(1) giving advice or assistance to an employer on the operation of such a scheme;(2) taking, or helping the employer to take, the steps that must be taken to enable an employee of the employer to become a member of such a scheme; and(3) giving advice to an employee, pursuant to an agreement between the employer and
COBS 6.1C.4GRP
COBS 6.1C.1 (Application - Who? What?) and COBS 6.1C.3 (Interpretation) mean (for example) that the cost of any advice given to an employee pursuant to an agreement between the employer and the adviser about the benefits that are, or might be, available to the employee if he is, or if he becomes, a member of a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme are subject to the rules in this section, not the rules on adviser charging (COBS 6.1A).
COBS 6.1C.5RRP
Except as specified in COBS 6.1C.5A R,4COBS 6.1C.5B R and COBS 6.1C.5C R4,3 a firm must:4(1) only be remunerated for giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme by consultancy charges or by a fee payable by the employer;(2) not solicit or accept (and ensure that none of its associates solicits or accepts) any other commissions, remuneration or benefit of any kind in relation to that
COBS 6.1C.5ARRP
3A firm and its associates may, except in relation to a qualifying scheme: 4(1) solicit and accept a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind in the circumstances set out in COBS 6.1C.5 R if:(a) the employer’s part of the relevant scheme was established on or before 30 December 2012; and(b) the solicitation and acceptance of the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind was permitted by the rules in force on 30 December 2012; and(2) enter into an arrangement under
COBS 6.1C.5BRRP
3If an employer chooses to appoint a firm to provide advice or services in connection with a group personal pension scheme or a group stakeholder pension scheme and that firm or its associate enters into an arrangement in COBS 6.1C.5AR (2), the firm must:(1) before the arrangement is entered into, disclose to the employer that the transfer of the commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind will be requested by the firm or its associate;(2) throughout the period during which
COBS 6.1C.5CRRP
4In connection with a qualifying scheme, a firm may only solicit or accept consultancy charges from an operator of a qualifying scheme if the operator has confirmed that express agreement has been given by members of that scheme under COBS 19.6.4 R.
COBS 6.1C.6GRP
A firm may receive a consultancy charge that is no longer payable (for example, after the service it is received in payment for has been amended or terminated) provided the firm passes any such payments to the relevant group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme.
COBS 6.1C.7GRP
The requirement to be paid through consultancy charges does not prevent a firm from making use of any facility for the payment of consultancy charges provided by another firm or other third parties provided that the facility complies with the requirements of COBS 6.1D.9 R.
COBS 6.1C.8GRP
Examples of payments and benefits that should not be accepted under the requirement only to be paid through consultancy charges include:(1) a share of the charges applied to a group personal pension scheme, group stakeholder pension scheme or the scheme provider’s revenues or profits (except if the firm providing the advice to an employer in relation to such a scheme is the scheme provider);(2) a commission set and payable by a retail investment product provider in any jurisdiction.Requirements
COBS 6.1C.9RRP
If the firm or its associate is the group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme provider, the firm must ensure that the level of its consultancy charges is at least reasonably representative of the cost associated with giving the advice to the employer in relation to the relevant scheme.
COBS 6.1C.10GRP
A consultancy charge is likely to be reasonably representative of the cost of the 6services associated with giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme if:(1) the total6 expected6 costs associated with advising the employer in relation to the group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme will:6(a) be recovered through consultancy charges; and6(b) not be recovered
COBS 6.1C.11RRP
A firm must determine and use an appropriate charging structure for calculating its consultancy charge for each employer.
COBS 6.1C.12GRP
A firm can use a standard charging structure.
COBS 6.1C.13GRP
(1) In determining its charging structure and consultancy charges a firm should have regard to the best interests of the employer and the employer’s employees.(2) A firm may not be acting in the best interests of the employer and the employer’s employees if it:(a) varies its consultancy charges inappropriately according to product provider; or(b) allows the availability or limitation of services offered by third parties to facilitate the payment of consultancy charges to influence
COBS 6.1C.14RRP
A firm must not use a charging structure which conceals the amount or purpose of any of its consultancy charges from an employer or an employee.
COBS 6.1C.15GRP
A firm is likely to be viewed as operating a charging structure that conceals the amount or purpose of its consultancy charges if, for example, it makes arrangements for amounts in excess of its consultancy charges to be deducted from an employee’s investments from the outset, in order to be able to provide a cash payment to the employer or employee later.
COBS 6.1C.16RRP
A firm must disclose its charging structure to an employer in writing, in good time before giving advice, or providing services, to the employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme.
COBS 6.1C.17GRP
A firm should ensure that the disclosure of its charging structure is in clear and plain language and, as far as is practicable, uses cash terms. If a firm's charging structure is in non-cash terms, examples in cash terms should be used to illustrate how the charging structure will be applied in practice.
COBS 6.1C.18RRP
(1) A firm must agree with and disclose to an employer the total consultancy charge payable to it or any of its associates.(2) A disclosure under (1) must:(a) be in cash terms (or convert non-cash terms into illustrative cash equivalents);(b) be made as early as practicable and, in any event, before the employer: (i) selects a particular group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme for the benefit of its employees; or(ii) if applicable, reviews its group personal
COBS 6.1C.19GRP
To comply with the rule on disclosure of total consultancy charges payable (COBS 6.1C.18R) and the fair, clear and not misleading rule, a firm's disclosure of the total consultancy charge should:(1) provide information to the employer as to which particular service a consultancy charge applies;(2) include information as to when payment of the consultancy charge is due;(3) if an ongoing consultancy charge is expressed as a percentage of funds under management, clearly reflect in
COBS 6.1C.20RRP
When an employer asks a firm to provide advice to the employer’s employees, the firm:(1) may make a consultancy charge for the cost of preparing and giving advice to each employee who chooses to accept his employer’s offer of advice;(2) must not make a consultancy charge for the cost of preparing or giving advice to an employee who chooses not to accept the offer of advice; (3) (if the firm prepares generic advice to be given to more than one employee) must not make more than
COBS 6.1C.21RRP
A firm must keep a record of:(1) its charging structure;(2) the consultancy charges payable by each employer and each of the employer’s employees; and(3) if the consultancy charge for a particular service has varied materially from that indicated in the firm's charging structure, the reasons for that difference.
COBS 6.1D.3RRP
In this section ‘giving advice, or providing services, to an employer in connection with a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme' includes:(1) giving advice or assistance to an employer on the operation of such a scheme;(2) taking, or helping the employer to take, the steps that must be taken to enable an employee of the employer to become a member of such a scheme; and(3) giving advice to an employee, pursuant to an agreement between the employer and
COBS 6.1D.4RRP
(1) Except as specified in COBS 6.1D.6A R,1 a firm must not offer or pay (and must ensure that none of its associates offers or pays) any commissions, remuneration or benefit of any kind to another firm, an employee benefit consultant or to any other third party for the benefit of that firm, employee benefit consultant or third party in relation to the sale or purchase of: (a) a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme, whether or not that sale or purchase
COBS 6.1D.5GRP
The requirement not to offer or pay commission does not prevent a firm from making a payment to a third party in respect of administration or other charges incurred, for example a payment to a fund supermarket or a third party administrator.
COBS 6.1D.6RRP
A firm that produces a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme must not offer or make any credit available out of its own funds, and to or for the benefit of another firm, an employee benefit consultant or another third party.
COBS 6.1D.6ARRP
1A firm and its associates may, except in connection with a qualifying scheme: 3(1) offer and pay a commission, remuneration or benefit of any kind in the circumstances set out in COBS 6.1D.4 R if:(a) the employer’s part of the relevant scheme was established on or before 30 December 2012; and(b) the offer or payment was permitted by the rules in force on 30 December 2012; and(2) enter into an arrangement under which the right to receive the commission, remuneration or benefit
COBS 6.1D.7RRP
A firm must:(1) take reasonable steps to ensure that its group personal pension scheme and group stakeholder pension scheme charges are not structured so that they could mislead or conceal from an employer the distinction between those charges and any consultancy charges payable in respect of the scheme; and(2) not include in any marketing materials in respect of its group personal pension schemes or group stakeholder pension schemes any statements about the appropriateness of
COBS 6.1D.8GRP
A firm should not offer to invest more than 100% of the retail client's contribution to a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme.
COBS 6.1D.9RRP
A firm that offers to facilitate, directly or through a third party, the payment of consultancy charges must:2(1) obtain and validate instructions from the relevant employer in relation to the consultancy charge; (2) offer sufficient flexibility in terms of the consultancy charges it facilitates;(3) not pay out or advance consultancy charges to the firm to which the consultancy charge is owed over a materially different time period, or on a materially different basis to that in
COBS 6.1D.9AGRP
2A firm facilitates the payment of consultancy charges for the purposes of COBS 6.1D.9 R if the consultancy charge is not paid directly by the employee, but is instead paid on behalf of the employee via the firm.
COBS 6.1D.9BGRP
2A firm facilitates the payment of consultancy charges for the purposes of COBS 6.1D.9 R by:(1) selling all or part of, or rights under, the employee’s investment in a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme to pay the consultancy charge; or(2) disposing of or reducing all or part of the employee’s rights under the group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme (for example, by way of a part disposal which creates benefits under a life
COBS 6.1D.10GRP
A firm should consider whether the flexibility in levels of consultancy charges it offers to facilitate is sufficient so as not to unduly influence or restrict the charging structure and consultancy charges that the firm providing advice to an employer in relation to a group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme can use.
COBS 6.1D.12GRP
To comply with COBS 6.1D.11R, a firm's disclosure should be in cash terms (or convert non-cash terms into illustrative cash equivalents) and should:(1) include information as to the period over which the consultancy charge is payable;(2) provide information on the implications for the employee if the employee leaves the employer’s service or their contributions to the group personal pension scheme or group stakeholder pension scheme are cancelled before the consultancy charge
COBS 6.1D.13GRP
A firm may provide the disclosure in COBS 6.1D.11R at the same time as it provides a key features document.
ICOBS 1.1.4GRP
Guidance on the application provisions is in ICOBS 1 Annex 1 (Part 4).