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Pension schemes to benefit from single TPR code of practice

Ref: PN21-09

Issued: Wednesday 17 March 2021

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is calling for industry views on its efforts to create a clearer, more accessible single code of practice.

TPR's 15 existing codes of practice are set to be transformed into a new online code providing one up-to-date and consistent source of information on scheme governance and management.

Today (Wednesday 17 March), TPR has launched a consultation on the first phase of its work – bringing 10 of the current 15 codes together as one.

While consolidating these 10 codes, TPR says it has reduced the number of pages by nearly half.

David Fairs, TPR's Executive Director for Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, said: "The new code of practice represents TPR's ambition to create a single point of consistent and up-to-date information for all pension scheme governing bodies.

"It will determine how governing bodies should approach governance and administration and provide consistent expectations across different types of scheme set at a level we consider appropriate for any well-run scheme.

"This user-friendly new code should make it easier for governing bodies, and those providing them with professional services, to distinguish between legal duties they must meet and what we expect should be done to comply with those duties.

"Providing feedback on the new code will help us to make it as clear as possible for the people who need it to run their pension schemes."

The 10-week consultation, running until 26 May, offers governing bodies and pensions professionals the chance to engage with and respond to the proposed new code.

The draft will be available to read and comment on from today.

The consultation also incorporates changes introduced by the Occupational Pension Schemes (Governance) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

These relate to an "effective systems of governance" and the "own risk assessment".

  • Effective systems of governance: Under new regulations, trustees must have an effective system of governance proportionate to the size, nature, scale and complexity of their scheme
  • Own risk assessment: Private sector schemes with 100 or more members will now need to carry out an own risk assessment. TPR expects governing bodies to use this to assess how well their policies and procedures address various risks, financial and operational, that their scheme faces.

TPR will be carrying out a series of engagement activities with more details about the new code and to provide industry with the opportunity to share its views.

Trustees, advisers and pension professionals will be able to sign up to a virtual workshop to discuss the new code's modules and content in more detail with TPR experts.

Notes for editors

  1. A draft defined benefit (DB) funding code will be published as part of a consultation in the second half of 2021.The new DB funding code will be the same style as, and form part of, the new code. Future consultations will cover areas such as master trust authorisation and supervision and collective defined contribution schemes.
  2. TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members' benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

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