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DC single employer trust arrangements

FOI reference - FOI-4005

Date - 10 July 2019

Request

You have requested the following information:

“a comprehensive list which details all defined contribution single employer trust arrangements in operation in the UK, where there is at least 12 members (including hybrid occupational schemes).”

Response

Duty to confirm or deny whether we hold the information requested

We are the regulator for work-based pension schemes with more than one registered member. Any work-based pension scheme registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), with more than one member must by law register with us. Therefore, if the scheme you are requesting confirmation about falls into this category (ie a work-based pension scheme registered with HMRC with more than one member) then it would fall under our remit as The Pensions Regulator.

Information we are not able to supply

Section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA)

As we have been given strong powers to demand documents and other information from trustees, employers and others, those powers are also balanced by restrictions on how we disclose the information provided to us.

The information held on our register is information we receive in the exercise of our statutory functions and is considered ‘restricted information’.

Restricted information is defined at section 82(4) of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA04) as ‘information obtained by the Regulator in the exercise of its functions which relates to the business or other affairs of any person’.

Under section 82(5) of the PA04 it is a criminal offence to disclose such information except as permitted under that Act.

Whilst the FoIA is based on the presumption of releasing information, section 44(1)(a) of the FoIA provides an absolute exemption to the requirement to disclose any information if its disclosure is prohibited by or under any enactment. In this case, section 82 of the PA04 prohibits disclosure and we are unable to disclose the register, extracts from the register or confirm whether a specific pension scheme is listed on the register. This exemption is absolute and does not require a public interest assessment be undertaken.

Duty to provide advice and assistance

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA - the EU pensions regulator) publishes a register of ‘Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision’ (IORPs - the EU term for occupational pension schemes), which contains the following information:

  • names and contact details for all UK schemes with 100 or more members, as well as similar details for occupational pension schemes established in the other 27 EU member states; and
  • whether the scheme operates cross-border in another EU member state, and if so in which countries it operates

The EIOPA register is searchable by name of the scheme, so may assist in conducting searches, however please note that although entries are updated regularly, they may become out of date between updates. The EIOPA register does not contain any details for UK personal pension schemes or UK occupational pension schemes with fewer than 100 members.

If you are a member of a scheme looking for contact details for that scheme and cannot find it on the EIOPA register, you may be able to find the scheme through a free government service called the Pension Tracing Service.