Disclosure of confidential information
27 November 2014
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued detailed guidance about the need for evidence to confirm that an agent or bureau is authorised to act on behalf of an employer.
Here is the statement made by The Pensions Regulator:
One of the topics discussed at the professional body meeting held at the end of September was about the disclosure of potentially confidential information from intermediaries to TPR when acting on behalf of their clients to fulfil their AE responsibilities. Reference was made to HMRC form 64-8.
Does there need to be a formal agreement from an employer that permission has been given for a named intermediary to disclose specific information about them (i.e. that disclosed on the declaration of compliance (DoC) form), such as the HMRC form 64-8?
The current process of submitting the DoC via the Government Gateway provides the authentication required by The Pensions Regulator for these purposes. No additional agreement, such as HMRC 64-8 form, is required as part of the standard declaration of compliance (DoC) process.
More detailed answer:
· Agents will always require proper authorisation from the employer they purport to act on behalf of, and this is a matter for the agent and their client to agree
· The DoC is currently submitted via the Government Gateway Service
· The Gateway sign up process requires the agent to provide certain information which an agent not properly authorised should be unable to provide. A unique ID number is issued and must be used in order to access the DoC form
· Authorisation is verified by the agent having the two known factsabout the employer which demonstrates a connection with the employer – letter code and PAYE scheme reference
· The DoC also includes a compulsory tick box for the agent to confirm that they are authorised to act on behalf of the employer
· Following submission of the DoC, an acknowledgment is sent to the agent, with the employer receiving a copy of the information submitted on their behalf – giving clear sight of what has been submitted and by whom, as well as the opportunity to say if the agent is not so authorised
· The equivalent of HMRCs 64-8 form is therefore not required by The Pensions Regulator for DoC purposes.
It remains good practice to ensure that proper authorisations are in place between employer/agent. In other circumstances, further proof of authorisation may be required by TPR in order to discuss details of an employer with agents. But the regulator will not be providing a standard template for this proof of authorisation.