A revised and simplified set of requirements for the information schemes must give members will come into effect in April 2014.
Most of the changes proposed in the DWP’s consultation earlier this year will go ahead, with some adjustments to the detail. The DWP expects to issue the final text of the new regulations this autumn.
The changes will largely be optional: schemes will able to choose whether to adopt them or to continue with their existing practice.
The new regulations will make clear schemes are not obliged to deliver any information electronically but, if they opt to do so, they must follow what the regulations say about how it must be done.
The broad aims of the changes are:
- as far as possible, to set common requirements for different types of scheme e.g. occupational and personal pension schemes, and to reduce overlap with the demands of the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to the latter,
- to simplify the basic information schemes provide, moving some items from "automatic" to "on demand",Most of the changes proposed in the DWP’s consultation earlier this year will go ahead, with some
- to provide members with the information they need e.g. more personalised benefit statements,
- to clarify the requirements around electronic delivery and
- to fit in with auto-enrolment procedures.
More of the requirements will be gathered into the main set of regulations but some will remain in other regulations dealing with particular topics.
The consultation paper floated the idea of switching from detailed rules to broad principles about disclosure that schemes could give effect to in their own way. The DWP is not going ahead with this.