Automatic enrolment: DB quality requirement and provisions for seafarers and offshore workers

24 July 2017

As part of the review of automatic enrolment that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently carrying out, they are required to carry out a statutory review of the operation of regulations made under section 23A of the 2008 Pensions Act.

Provisions under section 23A set out the alternative quality requirement for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes that are used for automatic enrolment. The requirement allows for a simpler alternative test to be used so that a scheme can demonstrate that it is of sufficient quality. This call for evidence aims to ascertain whether or not the government’s policy intentions in this area are being achieved, in particular how the simplifications and flexibilities introduced under the test work in practice, and whether there are any unintended consequences.

The call for evidence is also seeking input and evidence on provisions related to regulations made under Sections 96 and 97 of the Pensions Act 2008, namely The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Automatic Enrolment) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and The Automatic Enrolment (Offshore Employment) Order 2012, which respectively include seafarers and offshore workers within automatic enrolment. The call for evidence aims to test whether these regulations are working as intended in enabling seafarers and offshore workers to be automatically enrolled into workplace pensions.

Geographical extent - the call for evidence on alternative quality requirement tests applies to England, Wales and Scotland. The call for evidence on seafarers and offshore workers applies UK-wide.

The call for evidence will run until 30 August 2017.