Guidance on TPR’s extended notifiable event powers needed ‘as soon as possible’

Comprehensive guidance on The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) extended employer-related notifiable event powers is “absolutely essential” and needed as soon as possible, the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) has said.

In its response to the government's consultation on the regulator’s enhanced powers, the association called for the guidance to be issued before the modified provisions come into force “at the very latest”.

Urgency is required given the increased prominence of the notifiable events regime and the “significant” penalties for non-compliance, according to the ACA.

The ACA also urged the government to clarify whether former employers will be included in the notifiable events regime, as they are in scope of other, related regulations.

“It would also be helpful if TPR took the opportunity to amend some of its directions as to when events should be notifiable,” commented ACA Pension Schemes Committee chair, Peter Williams.

“For example, because of the way interest rates have fallen since the directions were first published in 2005, the £1.5m threshold for reporting particular member-related events has resulted in far more events being reportable, which is onerous for administrators and trustees.

“There are also some uncertainties of interpretation of the legislation, both of the current trustee notifiable events regime and the soon to be modified employer notifiable events. The code-related guidance would be the best place in which TPR could set out clearly its expectations.

“It would also be an opportunity to clarify the requirements for ‘former employers’ who remain liable for s75 debts, and hence contribute to the scheme’s employer covenant, to bring these entities within the notifiable event framework.”

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