New regulations came into force on 1 June 2009, expanding the list of authorised payments schemes can make.

From 1 December 2009, schemes will have more flexibility to deal with small pension pots. Where a member is aged between 60 and 75, it will be possible to commute pension pots of less than £2,000.

Certain pensions paid in error and arrears of pension due after the death of a member are to be treated as authorised. This relaxation applies to all payments made after 5 April 2006. Subject to meeting certain conditions the following will be authorised:

  • pensions paid in error where the trustees believed the recipient was entitled to the payments;
  • pensions paid for up to six months after a member's or dependant's death;
  • payment of arrears of pension after a member's death;
  • payment of lump sums that exceed the permitted maximum or are paid after a member's death.

The Registered Pensions Schemes (Authorised Payments) Regulations 2009