The DWP consultation (issued on 25 October) attaches draft regulations which are very similar to those published as part of the earlier consultation on this issue. The DWP intends that the final form regulations will come into force in April 2008.
Under both the draft regulations and the revised draft code of practice (also published for consultation on 25 October), it is for the trustees to decide on the structure and form of the procedure. Therefore, trustees will be able to keep their existing two-stage procedure or they may opt for a simpler one-stage procedure. Trustees will be required to issue their decisions within a "reasonable time".
The Pensions Regulator has elaborated on what it considers might constitute a "reasonable time" in this context in its revised code of practice. It expects trustees to notify applicants of their decision within four months of receipt of the complaint; and, within that, for applicants to be notified of the decision within 15 working days of the decision being made.