Occupational Pensions

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Altmann Baroness Altmann Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the Pensions Regulator makes pension schemes regularly reconcile and report on the accuracy of auto-enrolment pensions data.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Automatic Enrolment into workplace pensions is working. It has transformed pension saving for millions of today’s workers. It has reversed the decline in workplace pension saving seen in the decade prior to its introduction. Since automatic enrolment started in 2012, workplace participation has increased among eligible employees from a low of 55 per cent in 2012 to 87 per cent in 2018. The Government has put in place a robust, proportionate compliance framework. This is administered by The Pensions Regulator, and includes detailed regulatory guidance about how to comply with the law. An employer is required to select a qualifying pension scheme; enrol qualifying staff into that scheme, and deduct any contributions payable under Automatic Enrolment.

The Pensions Regulator’s priorities are contained in their corporate plan 2019-22 and include; providing clarity, enforcing the high standards of trusteeship, governance and administration they expect.

Qualifying pension schemes for Automatic Enrolment are subject to the regulatory framework overseen by The Pensions Regulator in respect of payment and accuracy of contributions. The Regulator has published codes of practice on its website setting out how trustees of defined contribution pension schemes and managers of personal pension schemes should monitor the payment of contributions; provide information to help members check their contributions; and report material payment failures to the Regulator.

The regulatory regime is designed so that errors can be identified and material failures can be reported, the Regulator can then require restitution; and, where necessary, make use of its enforcement powers. The Government keeps all aspects of automatic enrolment under regular review but has no plans to make changes to the compliance framework at this time.

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