On April 21, 2016, HM Treasury published a consultation paper on the UK Government’s proposed secondary market due to be introduced in April 2017. The market would extend the recently introduced pension freedoms and flexibilities to individuals, who retired prior to April 2015. In December 2015, the Government announced that tax changes would come into effect from April 2017 which would allow individuals to receive all of the proceeds following the sale of an annuity as a taxable lump sum, arrange for the buyer to pay all of the proceeds into a flexi-access drawdown fund, or arrange for the proceeds to be used to buy a new ‘flexible’ annuity. The consultation invites comment on the draft secondary legislation which creates (i) new specified activities for firms intending to purchase annuities or act as intermediaries in the secondary market; and (ii) a new specified activity for annuity providers who are intending to buy back annuities that have been issued. The consultation also discusses proposed amendments to the Appointed Representative Regulations which would exempt appointed representatives, acting under the responsibility of an authorized principal, from needing regulatory authorization to act as intermediaries in the secondary market and to buy back annuities. The consultation also proposes amendments to the By Way of Business Order to make clear that those buying rights to annuity income streams will be subject to the requirements to be authorized or exempt under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the Regulated Activities Order. HM Treasury stated that regulation of the specified secondary market activities will enhance the FCA’s supervisory oversight in this area. Responses to the consultation are due by June 2, 2016.

The consultation paper is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/creating-a-secondary-market-forannuities-secondary-legislation/consultation-creating-a-secondary-market-for-annuities-secondary-legislation