Get 'pensions ready' this summer: Part one - employer and trustee duties

5 minute read
03 August 2015

Do you want to get 'pensions ready' in a month? This August, the Pensions team at Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co is focusing on its 'Pensions in 30 Podcasts' series by highlighting one episode each day. We'll be tweeting about the issues covered and discussing four of the major themes across a series of weekly alerts.

Pensions in 30 Podcasts is a new, free online training tool to help clients navigate the ever-changing area of pensions law. For anyone new to pensions, or in need of a refresher, it provides a comprehensive overview of some of the key issues that they'll need to know.

The series has been described by ACMCA's Pension Snippets newsletter as hitting "the easy pint-sized trustee knowledge and understanding… button".

Providing essential pensions training at your fingertips, it is available to download and access wherever and whenever you want. So why not make sure you are 'pensions ready' this summer and boost your learning and development at a time that suits you?

Employer and trustee duties on pensions and The Pensions Regulator

In this first alert we focus on the theme of employer and trustee duties in relation to pensions and The Pensions Regulator.

Workplace pension reform (automatic enrolment) and NEST

Anyone who employs workers in the UK will have to comply with new employer duties with effect from their 'staging date'.

Employers will need to:

  • assess and categorise their workers;
  • automatically enrol any 'eligible jobholders' who are not already members of a qualifying scheme into an automatic enrolment scheme;
  • issue communications to workers that include prescribed information;
  • process opt-in and opt-out requests;
  • pay contributions for jobholders in pension savings in line with statutory minima; and
  • provide the Pensions Regulator with a confirmation of how they have complied with their duties.

National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) is a trust-based, defined contribution, occupational pension scheme that employers can use as an automatic enrolment scheme to comply with their employer duties under the Pensions Act 2008.

NEST has a universal service obligation which means that all UK employers can use NEST to fulfil their employer duties.

Other pension providers are offering automatic enrolment schemes as alternative solutions for employers.

Find out more in episode three (Workplace pension reform and NEST) of Pensions in 30 Podcasts.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) was established on 6 April 2005, replacing Opra (The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority). It was introduced in response to reports that found that Opra had inadequate powers in respect of matters of compliance, gathering information and other issues.

As a result, TPR has a broader range of powers than Opra and has developed a risk-based approach to focus its activities and protect members from the greatest risks.

TPR's remit expanded in 2015 when it became responsible for regulating the governance and administration of public service pension schemes. Some of the key roles for TPR are:

  • receiving notice of breaches of the law from employers and trustees;
  • receiving notice of notifiable events from employers and trustees; and
  • protecting pension schemes, enforced by extensive anti-avoidance powers.

Find out more in episodes four, five, six and seven of Pensions in 30 Podcasts:

The Pensions Regulator: Overview

The Pensions Regulator: Duty to report breaches of the law

The Pensions Regulator: Notifiable events

The Pensions Regulator: Protecting schemes

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