The DWP has also released a consultation document which sets out a number of deregulatory changes to TPR’s notifiable events framework and an amendment to the statutory period that applies to the use of financial support directions.
The DWP’s proposed amendment is that the statutory “lookback” period which TPR can consider when deciding whether to issue a financial support direction should be increased to 24 months from the current 12 months. It is proposed that there will be a staged increase in the “lookback” period from 12 to 24 months until the transition date of 6 April 2010, when the full 24 months will apply.
The intention behind the notifiable events regime is to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) or to scheme members by providing an early warning of insolvency or underfunding and so giving TPR the opportunity to intervene where appropriate. TPR has concluded that three of the 13 existing notifiable events have proved to be of little or no value to TPR or the PPF and it is proposed that these events are removed from the framework.
The events are:
- two or more changes in a key scheme post. The Government accepts that frequent changes in holders of these posts can indicate weakening scheme governance , but they are not risks in themselves;
- credit rating change: this event covers information that is useful to TPR but there are alternative sources of information available to TPR that can provide the same information; and
- changes in key employer posts: TPR’s experience of this notifiable event indicates that too many routine staff changes have been notified causing unnecessary work.
It is proposed that these changes will be implemented by the Pensions Regulator (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2009. The consultation period ends on 6 February 2009.
View the consultation paper on the draft regulations. (pdf)(68.8KB)