Pension schemes are subject to many and varied disclosure obligations, many (but not all) of which are set out in the Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 1996. The DWP proposes to consolidate disclosure obligations into a single set of regulations covering occupational, personal and stakeholder schemes. It also proposes to replace rigid timescales with the obligation to supply information "within a reasonable period" (with the exception that basic scheme information must be provided within 14 days of an employee beginning pensionable service).
In its paper, the DWP targets four areas for potential deregulation:
- Basic information about the scheme. At present this consists of 29 prescribed requirements. The DWP suggests that this number could be cut back and focussed on key issues for new members.
- Annual report. The DWP suggests that these requirements could be distilled into a few key issues.
- Annual information. These obligations could be streamlined and simplified.
- Statutory money purchase illustrations. The DWP suggests that some information could be signposted or made available on request; and also that some information could be streamlined to consolidate the number of required statements.
The full consultation paper sets out the proposed changes in detail and contains a table comparing the existing disclosure regime with the proposed new approach. It is available on the DWP's website here