Pension scheme list consultation launched

25 November 2014

The Pensions Regulator is consulting over plans to publish a list of pension schemes to help small and micro employers prepare for automatic enrolment.

Research by the regulator suggests one in five (290,000) employers in this category will not seek advice when choosing a pension scheme, while one in ten (130,000) do not know how to select a scheme, or think it will be difficult.

To address the risk of non-compliance caused by employers failing to find an available scheme for staff, the regulator is consulting on their proposal to publish a list of schemes on its website early in 2015.

The TPR announcement explains that schemes on the list will have to meet key criteria: in particular they must accept any employer irrespective of how many staff they have or how much they pay. The list may also indicate whether a scheme holds independent master trust assurance and / or has a public service obligation.

Providers will be required to ensure schemes continue to meet the criteria while the regulator will remove schemes if regulatory concerns arise.

The list is intended as a starting point for the smallest employers to inform themselves about what is available. The regulator will also make clear on its website that there may be more suitable schemes in the open market, particularly for larger employers or for those with higher paid workers.

Executive Director for Automatic Enrolment Charles Counsell said:

“The needs and behaviours of small and micro employers preparing for automatic enrolment are expected to be very different to the large and medium organisations which have already successfully staged.

“In line with our educate and enable approach, we are working to understand those needs, particularly the ability for small and micro employers to identify a pension scheme they can use to comply with automatic enrolment without the help of advisors.”