HM Treasury has published a draft Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotions) (Amendment) Order 2008 for consultation. The draft regulations allow parties other than the employer to communicate with employees in relation to a group personal pension or stakeholder scheme without the need to be authorised under the financial services regime, provided they are contracted to the employer and meet certain other criteria.

Broadly the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 regime prohibits a person, in the course of business, from communicating an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity unless the person is an authorised person or the content of the communication is approved by an authorised person. There is currently an exemption for communications from an employer to an employee in relation to a group personal pension scheme or a stakeholder pension scheme.

The proposed extension is intended to cover employers who have outsourced their pensions administration arrangements.

The consultation closes on 12 December 2008