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FOI reference - FOI 2016-11-23
Date - 23/11/2016


As far as I understand, the current practice is for defined contribution (DC) schemes with 12 or more members to complete a scheme return annually and schemes with 2 to 11 members to complete once every three years.

I was hoping you could let me know the most recent figures you have for the number of occupational DC trust-based pension schemes that are late in submitting a scheme return.

  1. How many occupational DC trust-based pension schemes overseen by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are late with regards to their scheme return? Latest available figures would be fine – either in percentage or absolute number terms.
  2. If possible, can you break the above figure down in terms of size of scheme by number of members?
  3. How does TPR define ‘late’ with regards to the above?
  4. How many occupational DC trust-based pension schemes have never completed a scheme return?
  5. Is there any further information I should know with regards to the above?


I can confirm that we hold the information you have requested.

Information we are able to supply

For the first two parts of your request I have provided the answers in the attached table A (PDF, 10.6kb, 1 page).

To give some context to the information contained in table A, as you may know a high proportion of DC schemes are required to submit to scheme returns to us every three years. Therefore the results in table A don’t represent the year on year compliance for exactly the same set of schemes. For example many schemes that submitted in ‘v10’, will not submit again until ‘v13’ (v13 is currently underway and we will not be able to report on this until it is complete). This means that the figures are only for those schemes that were required to submit a scheme return in the stated period, therefore year on year it is not an exact comparison of the same schemes.

With regard to our definition of ‘late’, we would class this as a scheme return not being completed by the specific due date. Alongside this a scheme that had never completed a scheme return would be defined as one that is listed as eligible, has been issued a scheme return in the last three years, but have not responded. There are 3,703 DC private sector schemes on our records that have been issued at least one scheme return in the last six years and have not completed the return. This only covers schemes that remain eligible on our systems and not schemes that were previously non-compliant but are now no longer eligible. This may also include some schemes that have contacted us with a reason for non-submission or a request to cancel the scheme return.