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Business impact target

About the BIT

The government introduced a business impact target (BIT) in 2015 with the aim of reducing the burden of regulation on business.

The Business Secretary sets and reports on performance against a target for this over the life of each Parliament.

In 2016, the scope of the BIT was extended to include the actions of statutory regulators, including The Pensions Regulator (TPR). This means that the actions we take that have an impact on business will count towards the BIT.

The specific actions within scope are defined as ‘regulatory provisions’. They are divided into 'qualifying regulatory provisions’ (QRPs) and 'non-qualifying regulatory provisions’ (NQRPs).

All QRPs must be impact assessed. That assessment must then be verified by the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC). The RPC has been appointed as the independent verification body for the BIT. It has statutory responsibility for rating the quality of evidence and analysis used to determine the impact of each QRP. This is to ensure that regulatory decisions are made on the basis of robust, evidence-based policy making. The RPC does not comment on the policy merits of proposals.

NQRPs do not have to be risk assessed but should be described briefly in the form of a summary.

Information about QRPs and NQRPs must be provided to cover a reporting period.

Under the current Parliament, the first reporting period runs from 12 December 2019 to 11 December 2024.

NQRP summary report for the period June 2019 to December 2019

Excluded category Summary of measure(s), including any impact data where available
Measures certified as being below de minimis (measures with an EANDCB below +/- £5 million) Following consideration of this category, there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify.
EU Regulations, Decisions and Directives and other international obligations, including the implementation of the EU Withdrawal Bill and EU Withdrawal Agreement Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Measures certified as concerning EU Withdrawal Bill operability measures Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Pro-competition Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Systemic financial risk Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Civil emergencies Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Fines and penalties

In respect of the regulation of work-based pensions schemes during this reporting period:

TPR issued 55 penalty notices.

In respect of the regulation of the automatic enrolment duties under the Pensions Act 2008:

TPR issued 10,700 fixed penalty notices and 4,620 escalating penalty notices.

Misuse of drugs Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Measures certified as relating to the safety of tenants, residents and occupants in response to the Grenfell tragedy Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Casework

In respect of the regulation of work-based pension schemes, casework activities in this reported period included:

Four reports published on cases of non-compliance under section 89 of the Pensions Act 2004; 23 demands for information under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004; TPR appointed 255 trustees to pension schemes, in accordance with their powers to do so.

In respect of the regulation of the automatic enrolment duties under the Pensions Act 2008 casework activity included:

  • 16,780 compliance notices
  • 16,928 unpaid contributions notices
  • 23 inspections

During this reporting period a total of around 34,257 employers completed their mandatory declaration of compliance, to inform TPR how they have complied with their legal duties under the Pensions Act 2008.

Education, communications and promotion

During this reporting period TPR officials participated at around 100 speaking events and seminars.

TPR carried out around five campaigns on various topics relating to occupational scheme regulation and automatic enrolment.

TPR sent over 330,000 letters to around employers at different stages before and after their automatic enrolment staging date / duties start date to let them know about the requirements they must comply with under the relevant legislation.

TPR published guidance for trustees in the event of exiting the European Union without a deal. This guidance directed trustees of UK schemes towards the existing requirements of EU member states, and directed schemes based in the rest of the EU towards existing UK legislative requirements that would need to be complied with in the event of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal. This is a signposts trustees to existing requirements.

TPR published guidance explaining the new regulatory changes introduced in 2018 and 2019, including The Pension Protection Fund (Pensionable Service), OPS (Investment and Disclosure) (Amendment and Modification) Regulations 2018, and the OPS (Investment and Disclosure) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

TPR revised its multi-employer schemes and employer departures guidance to bring it into line with existing practice. This addition is an explanation of options employers are allowed to consider, with no new expectations and standards being set.

In respect of both the regulation of automatic enrolment and work-based pension schemes TPR published around 75 publications.

TPR received and processed a total of 46 complaints.

Activity related to policy development TPR carried out consultations on the future of trusteeship and governance in pension schemes, guidance on engaging with investment consultants and fiduciary managers, and are targeted consultation with key stakeholders on appropriate levels of capital for superfunds entering the occupational pension scheme market.
Changes to management of regulator Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.

BIT verification

Our general approach will be to submit QRP assessments to the RPC for verification before the change itself has been implemented.

BIT template

The Better Regulation Executive has provided regulators with a template to use in order to present their assessments. We intend to use this template for all our assessments.

Approach to submission of QRP assessments to RPC

To ensure effective use of resources both for us and the RPC, our general approach to submitting QRP assessments will be as follows:

  • Large QRP assessments (where the impact is expected to be material) and assessments in respect of any proposals on which we are publicly consulting will be submitted as soon as they are ready.
  • We will group related assessments by theme and send them together, aggregating them into one assessment where possible.
  • We will bundle small but unrelated QRP assessments and submit them quarterly. Quarterly periods will begin from the first working day of April, July, October and January.

Publication of verified assessments

We will publish large assessments as soon as possible after receiving RPC verification. If we are consulting, we will aim to include the verified assessment as part of our consultation response. Small QRP assessments that are submitted quarterly will be published quarterly once verified.

Submission close to the end of a reporting period

If a QRP is expected to come into force during the reporting period we will try to submit the assessment at least eight weeks before the end of that period. If it appears unlikely that we will meet this deadline, we will liaise with the RPC and agree with them whether it would be more appropriate to submit it in the following reporting period.

If a QRP is not expected to come into force until the next reporting period, we will try to avoid submitting the assessment during the final eight weeks of the current reporting period.

NQRP summary

We intend to provide the RPC with our final draft annual NQRP summary as early as possible so they can provide timely advice on its completeness before publication.

Changes

We will keep the RPC informed of any changes to these plans.

QRP assessments and assurance of NQRP summaries for previous periods

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions for the period 21 June 2018 to 20 June 2019

There were no qualifying regulatory provisions for this period.

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions for the period 8 May 2015 to 8 June 2017

Title of measure  Description of measure  BIT score (£ millions) 
Simplified automatic enrolment (AE) communications and provision of improved AE guidance This measure simplified the language of the communications that TPR sends to all employers ahead of the date they become subject to the automatic enrolment legislation. The measure also simplifies the guidance content on TPR website and introduces a 'duties checker' tool that allows an employer to find out when they will become subject to the duties and what they need to do to comply.
-£158 million 
Investment guidance
This guidance aims to support the trustee boards of private sector defined benefit or ‘hybrid benefits’ pension schemes. It sets out the main principles they should consider when setting out an investment strategy. The guidance also sets out TPR’s expectation that trustees suitably document investment arrangements that are appropriate for their scheme’s circumstances, including their level of complexity.
£0 million 
Defined contribution code of practice
This measure updates the code of practice for trustee boards of occupational defined contribution pension schemes.
£0
Scheme return changes
Trustees of occupational schemes are required to periodically submit a return to TPR. The information in the return is used to identify schemes which may present a potential risk to members' benefits. It is also used to ensure TPR's information is accurate and to calculate levies due from the scheme. This measure introduced some changes to the questions in the return as a consequence of changes to legislation and the pension landscape.
£0 million
Changes to information that needs to be sent to TPR about AE
Employers are required to submit a declaration of compliance to TPR. TPR is considering communicating its expectation to employers and their advisers that in certain circumstances they do not need to provide the statutory information about how they have complied with their automatic enrolment duties until TPR asks them for it.
£0 million
Simplifying AE for new employers created between 2 April 2017 and 30 September 2017
Under the automatic enrolment legislation all employers have a date when their automatic enrolment duties start. This is called the staging date. New employers created in this period may fall within the staging period set out in the legislation and be allocated a staging date. Or some new employers created in this period may have their automatic enrolment duties start immediately when they become an employer. Which one it is depends upon a combination of different circumstances. For simplicity, TPR is considering treating all employers created in this period as if they have one of two staging dates only. All communications from TPR and enforcement will reflect the staging date assigned to the employer.  £0 million