The Pensions Regulator has regard to the Regulators’ Code and the principles of good regulation set out in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006.
That is to be: proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted (PACTT). We track and evaluate our performance against these principles.
Our regulatory approach provides a clear, concise and transparent explanation of our regulatory approach and how we take account of PACTT.
In addition, the Regulators’ Code asks regulators to publish standards that set out what our regulated community can expect from us in six particular areas. You can find them below.
1. How we communicate and how we can be contacted
You can expect us to produce targeted materials and tools for our different audiences in accessible formats. These are designed to enable trustees, employers and scheme managers, among others, to learn about and comply with their obligations.
You can also expect us to proactively communicate through webinars, stakeholder events and emails.
We use different channels in our communications programmes. We use media and stakeholder channels to raise awareness, and our web and direct channels to increase understanding and engagement.
In keeping with the government’s ‘digital by default’ strategy, all the materials we produce are available online and our website is divided by audience for ease of use.
Anyone who would like information or has concerns can contact us by phone, email or post.
2. Our approach to providing information and guidance
You can expect our tailored materials to be written in plain English.
You can expect the material we produce for our regulated community to support them to understand and carry out their duties.
You can expect our emphasis to be on educating and enabling our audience. Our regulatory strategy documents provide information about how we do this for the different areas we regulate.
3. Our approach to checks on compliance, including details of our risk assessment framework
You can expect us to consider risk throughout our decision-making process, focusing on areas where risks are greatest and where our actions are likely to have the greatest impact.
We assess risks and trends of non-compliance through information gathering, our intelligence function, our research capability and through analysis of operational data.
Our regulatory strategy documents explain how we apply our risk-based and proportionate approach to the different areas we regulate. These documents also explain how we use a variety of means to assess whether those we regulate are carrying out their duties.
We make full use of information-sharing opportunities with other government bodies to minimise burden on our regulated community.
4. Our approach to enforcement and non-compliance
You can expect us to use our powers flexibly, reasonably and appropriately, with the aim of putting things right and keeping schemes on the right track for the long term.
What particular actions you can expect from us depend on your circumstances. We tailor our activities in different areas in accordance with our risk-based and proportionate approach.
You can expect us to act in accordance with our regulatory strategy documents, which explain how we approach enforcement and non-compliance in the different areas we regulate.
In most cases, educating and enabling those we regulate to comply resolves problems. However, where appropriate, we have a number of enforcement options available to us. We assess what, if any, regulatory action should be taken depending on the circumstances.
5. Our fees and charges
You can expect us to set out clearly the level of our fees and charges and our funding arrangements. You can expect us to enable payment to be made quickly and easily.
We are funded via two grant-in-aid payments from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Some of our operating costs and those of other bodies such as the Pensions Ombudsman Service are recovered from eligible schemes through a levy. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions sets the rate of the levy each year. Schemes can pay the levy and update their scheme’s details online via our Exchange service.
6. How to comment or complain about the service we provide and routes to appeal
You can expect The Pensions Regulator to help you with any query, concern or complaint you may have about us as an organisation or the services we provide.
If you are not happy with how a matter has been dealt with you can use our formal complaints process. If you make a formal complaint, you can expect us follow our two-stage formal complaints process. This process deals with complaints about mistakes or lack of care, unreasonable delay, unprofessional behaviour, bias or lack of integrity by the regulator and its staff.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman can also investigate complaints against The Pensions Regulator. You can expect us to fully co-operate with any investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Such an investigation would usually occur at the conclusion of our internal complaints procedure, if required.