The FCA delayed new rules on Pension Transfer Specialist Qualifications until October and new rules on default Investment Pathways - designed to nudge pensions saver along templated routes - to February 2021.
The watchdog says it is important firms focus on “preventing and reducing consumer harm” during the pandemic rather than major rule changes.
The FCA says that implementation dates for new rules in Policy Statement 19/21 (other than those already in force) will be moved back by 6 months until 1 February 2021.
PS 19/21 followed its Retirement Outcomes Review in 2018 which recommended a package of measures to improve post-Pension Freedoms advice and client outcomes, particularly on drawdown.
The regulator said in a statement: “This extended implementation period recognises the operational challenges of implementing new rules in the current circumstances. It does not relax any other regulatory requirements. Firms must continue to treat their customers fairly and act professionally and in their client’s best interests.”
The FCA has also published guidance on what information providers can give to customers on the options available to pension savers dealing with Coronavirus volatility but adds that providers should be careful not to provide regulated advice “even implicitly.”
The body will begin to assess the quality of pension decumulation advice over the coming year, it said.
Ben Cocks, business systems director at fintech Altus, said: “The FCA was stuck between consumer champions wanting better transfer services now and some foot-dragging providers who have been asking for a postponement of a year. Not everyone will be happy but a delay of six months is probably a sensible compromise.”