Pension Schemes – DWP consultation on disclosure of information requirementsMonday, March 30th, 2009
In a technical consultation document aimed at pension industry professionals, pension schemes, trustees, and industry and member representative organisations, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking views on proposals to reform the disclosure of information requirements that apply to occupational and personal pension schemes.
Decisions made as a result of this consultation will also have an impact on the Pension Personal Accounts, due to be introduced in April 2012.
The proposals are by way of a pilot to see to what extent the “principles-based” approach to regulation (as opposed to “prescriptive”), as recommended in the Deregulatory Review of Private Pensions in 2007, can be applied to the disclosure of information requirements that apply to occupational and personal pension schemes. For example, if the regulations began with a high level principle that trustees should take into account members’ best interests when providing them with information, there would be opportunity to reduce the level of prescription in the current disclosure provisions, without disrupting schemes’ current arrangements.
For example, the consultation document proposes that regulations that require information to be provided within a specified time would generally be redrafted so that the required information must be provided “within a reasonable period”. The Pensions Regulator would then issue a Code of Practice incorporating guidance for schemes on timescales. An exception to this general approach would apply to Pension Personal Accounts where, because of the introduction of auto-enrolment, the proposal is for the regulations to require basic scheme information to be provided within 14 days. This would ensure that employees have adequate information on which to base their decisions on scheme membership, within the auto-enrolment timeframe.
The closing date for responses to this consultation exercise is 6 May 2009.
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions