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The Pensions Regulator has issued a consultation entitled protecting DB pension schemes - a stronger pension’s regulator.

The consultation sets out proposals to improve the Pensions Regulator’s powers so that they can:

•           be more proactive and get involved earlier when employers make changes which could affect the pension scheme

•           obtain the right information about a scheme and its sponsoring employer

•           get redress for members if things go wrong

 The Regulator proposes changes to 3 main areas:

1.         Improving the Regulator’s and trustees’ role in scrutinising corporate transactions.

 In particular TPR would like views on:

•           How the notifiable events framework could be made clearer and more effective; whether the right events are captured especially in more complex scenarios, ensuring that the Regulator is notified of appropriate events at the right time;

•           How the new ‘declaration of intent’ should be designed and implemented so that employers engage appropriately with the trustees, and that trustees and the Regulator are provided with meaningful information without putting undue burdens on businesses; and

•           How this should be enforced.

2.         Improving the sanctions regime to deter wrongdoing in most cases, and punish it when necessary.

 In particular the TPR would like views on:

•           What behaviours and actions (or inaction), and in what circumstances, should attract sanctions;

•           What type of sanctions are appropriate in these different scenarios (e.g. fines up to the existing maximum, fines with a new higher maximum, or criminal sanctions).

3.         Improving the Regulator’s existing powers to issue Contribution Notices and Financial Support Directions.

 In particular, TPR would like views on

•           What improvements can be made to the Regulator’s current powers to make it more efficient to compel related companies to provide financial support to a scheme, and requires companies to compensate a scheme if they have caused loss or detriment to the scheme.

•           How can the improvements be enforced.


The consultation will run until 21st August 2018 with responses to be made online only.

Please note that this document was prepared by a third party and as such Brewin Dolphin is not responsible for the content or able to answer queries on the topics dealt with. While we believe it to be correct at the time of writing, Brewin Dolphin is not a tax adviser and tax law is subject to frequent change. Therefore you should not rely on this information without seeking professional advice from a qualified tax adviser, who should also be able to assist you with any questions on the content.

This document was prepared as a general guide only and does not constitute tax or legal advice.