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Employers providing a workplace pension

FOI reference - FOI-6698
Date - 21 March 2022


Can you provide a list, ideally in Excel format, showing the name of each employer providing a workplace pension, together with the pension provider used.


I can confirm that we hold information falling within scope of your request. However, we are unable to supply the requested information for the reasons set out below.

Information we are not able to supply

Section 44(1)(a) – restricted information under s82 PA04 and tax information under s88 PA04

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 type of information you have requested would be:

a. ‘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.

b. ‘Tax information etc’. Which section 88 (1) of the PA04 defines as:

“…information held by the Revenue and Customs if it is held by them in connection with a function of the Revenue and Customs that relates to any of these matters—

  1. tax or duty;
  2. national insurance contributions;
  3. the national minimum wage.”

Section 88 (4) of the PA04 confirms that:

“Information to which this section applies which is disclosed to the Regulator as mentioned in subsection (3) may not be disclosed by the Regulator or any person who receives the information directly or indirectly from the Regulator except—

  1. to, or in accordance with authority given by, the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs,
  2. with a view to the institution of, or otherwise for the purposes of, any criminal proceedings,
  3. with a view to the institution of any other proceedings by the Regulator, or for the purposes of any such proceedings instituted by the Regulator,
  4. in accordance with section 84, otherwise than for the purposes of any proceedings, or
  5. in the form of a summary or collection of information so framed as not to enable information relating to any particular person to be ascertained from it.”

While 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, sections 82 and 88 of the PA04 prohibits disclosure and we are unable to disclose the requested information. These exemptions are absolute and do not require a public interest assessment to be undertaken.

Section 40 – Personal information

This information is also exempt from disclosure under section 40 (personal information) of the FoIA. This is because the information constitutes personal data as defined in the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Disclosing this would not comply with the data protection principles set out in the GDPR, in particular the requirement for processing to be fair, lawful and transparent (Article 5 (1)(a)), as well as to comply with one of the lawful bases for processing in Article 6.