Notification requirements

Part of Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 7 February 2017.

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Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 3:15, 7 February 2017

Amendment 28 would require the trustees of a master trust that experiences a triggering event to notify all the members that the event has occurred and of other matters to be set out in regulations. The explanatory note to amendment 29 says that the intent is to require trustees to notify members once the regulator is satisfied that the triggering event has been resolved, but the effect of the amendment is a bit wider. It would require the trustees to inform members of the regulator’s decision—in other words, whether it is satisfied that the event had been resolved or not.

Clause 23 requires key people associated with the master trust to notify the Pensions Regulator if the scheme experiences a triggering event. Clause 26 sets out the framework for a scheme pursuing continuity option 2—in other words, the trustees aim to resolve the triggering event. The resolution is the important part of it. Once the trustees believe they have resolved the event, they submit evidence to that effect to the regulator. Having considered the evidence, the regulator notifies the trustees of whether it is satisfied that the event has been resolved. Our aim is for events to be resolved where possible. The scheme can then continue and members can keep saving in it. We have not required the trustees to notify members.

As the hon. Gentleman said, at the point that the triggering event happens, the trustees may be in discussions with the regulator and may not have reached a conclusion about whether the scheme will continue to operate or whether it will be wound up.