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Request for information related to section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004

FOI reference - FOI-3964

Date - 18 July 2019

Request

  1. The number of requests for information under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 that have been issued by The Pensions Regulator each year since the regulator was first established (or since the regulator's records began).
  2. The number of requests for extensions to the deadline for providing information to the regulator specified in a section 72 notice that have been requested each year and how many of these have been granted by The Pensions Regulator.
  3. The shortest, longest and the average time that have been given for recipients to respond to a section 72 notice.
  4. The number of times that the regulator has taken enforcement action where a recipient of a section 72 notice has failed to provide the relevant information in each year since the regulator was established. Please also provide a breakdown of the type of enforcement action that has been taken in each case.
  5. The total number and value of fines imposed by the regulator for failure to comply with a section 72 request for information since the regulator's inception or since records began (and year on year).

Response

I can confirm that we hold some of the information falling within scope of your request.

Section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA04) is an information gathering power and is dealt with under a case by case basis. So, though the details of any extensions or responses would be recorded on the individual case, we not record this information as statistics and are therefore unable to answer points 2 and 3 of your request.

The table below sets out the answers to points 1 and 4 broken down by year.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of requests for information under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 that have been issued by The Pensions Regulator 12 38 60 122 49 143 158 142 162 51
Number of times that the regulator has taken enforcement action where a recipient of a section 72 notice has failed to provide the relevant information 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 0

In relation to enforcement action, if a section 72 is not complied with it is an offence under PA04 and therefore we would bring a prosecution case against the recipient under section 77 legislation for neglecting or refusing to provide information or produce document required in information notice.

Any fines that are issued would be imposed by the courts and as a result we do not hold the stats for the number or value of these fines that you have requested in point 5.

For your reference, we recently published a report on our first criminal prosecutions for failing to provide information requested as part of ongoing investigations.