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Audit requirements

Code in force: 28 March 2024

  1. The law requires certain1 governing bodies of occupational pension schemes to obtain the following within seven months of the end of each scheme year, from an independent auditor of the scheme
    1. audited accounts, prepared in line with regulation 3 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 19962
    2. the auditor’s statement, prepared in line with regulation 43 of those regulations, about payment of contributions under the scheme
  2. Accounts do not need to be sent to us as a matter of course.
  3. The auditor’s statement must:
    1. include their opinion on whether contributions have in all material respects been paid at least in line with any of:
      • the schedule of contributions
      • payment schedule
      • scheme rules or contracts under which they were payable
    2. where contributions have not been paid in line with the above, include a statement explaining why
    3. even where no contributions were payable in the audited period, still prepare an auditor’s statement
  4. The governing body:
    1. must provide a copy of the scheme’s audited accounts, as part of the annual report4, to relevant persons5 on request, and within two months of the governing body receiving the request
    2. may wish to consider publishing the accounts on a website that is free to access for scheme members
    3. should retain documentation on preparing the scheme’s annual audited accounts, recording that process and its outcome, for at least seven years
    4. must make sure the normal auditing period6 of 12 months is applied. However, the audit period may be between six and 18 months when the start date changes, or the scheme is in the final stages of being wound up

Glossary and legal references

Contributions

Money paid into the scheme. This may come from members in the form of regular or additional contributions, or from employers as regular or deficit-related contributions.

1Regulation 2 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 1996 [Regulation 2 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997]

2[The Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997]

3The Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 1996 [The Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997]

4Regulation 12 of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013 [Regulation 12 of the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014]

5As defined in the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013[As defined in the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014]

6Definition of “Scheme year” in Regulation 1 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations 1996 [Definition of “Scheme year” in Regulation 1 of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Requirement to Obtain Audited Accounts and a Statement from the Auditor) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997]