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FOI reference - FOI 2015-07-21(a)
Date - 21/07/2015

Request

Are you able to supply a list of UK pension schemes with trust-based defined contribution schemes by asset size?

Response

Duty to confirm or deny whether we hold the information requested

I can confirm that we hold the information you have requested. However, we are not able to release the requested information for the reasons given below.

Information we are not able to supply

As The Pensions Regulator has been given strong powers to demand scheme information from trustees, employers and others, those powers are balanced by restrictions on onward disclosure of information provided to us. The scheme names which you have requested fall under the category of 'restricted information' within the meaning of section 82 of the Pensions Act 2004. Restricted information is defined at section 82(4) as:

  • Information obtained by the Regulator in the exercise of its functions which relates to the business or other affairs of any person.

All schemes have to register with us within three months of registering with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is the duty of the trustees to register occupational schemes and the duty of the pension provider to register personal pension schemes (including GPPs) and stakeholder pension schemes. One member schemes, schemes that only pay death-in-service benefits and schemes that have never been registered with HMRC are exempt from the registration requirements. Therefore we are unable to release this information to the world at large.

The information held is information we have received in the exercise of our statutory functions. Furthermore, section 82(5) of the Pensions Act 2004 provides that it is a criminal offence to disclose such information except as permitted under that Act.

Whilst the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) is based on the presumption of releasing information there are exemptions to disclosure that must be applied if another enactment prohibits disclosure of information. Section 44(1)(a) of the FoIA provides an absolute exemption to the requirement to disclose any information if its disclosure (otherwise than under the FoIA) is prohibited by or under any enactment. In this case, section 82 of the Pensions Act 2004 applies and we must therefore maintain this exemption.

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