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New offences, penalties and powers for the Pensions Regulator: whats employers and trustees should know

19 February 2020

As expected, following the general election the new government has reintroduced the Pension Schemes Bill and is taking forward changes consulted on in 2018.  The Bill will significantly increase the Pension Regulator's powers to require support for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes.  In particular:

  • The Bill creates new criminal offences, some punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment, plus a new civil financial penalty of up to £1m.
  • The circumstances in which the Regulator can issue a contribution notice (CN) requiring funding to be made to a DB scheme will be widened.
  • The Regulator will have increased powers to demand information, inspect premises or require an individual to attend an interview.
  • The notifiable events regime, requiring the Regulator to be told of specified events, will be extended.
  • The scheme specific funding regime will be strengthened, with a new requirement for trustees to prepare a "funding and investment strategy".

This note explains the various changes made by the Bill as it is currently drafted and explores some of the implications for employers, trustees and others.  We can expect the Bill to be amended as it passes through Parliament – we will update this note to reflect future developments. 

Click here to read the full briefing.

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