On 25 July 2007, an independent deregulatory review of the legislation governing private pensions was published. The review was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The aim of the review was to make the private pensions’ regulatory framework more straightforward, adopting a more simplified approach, and, in doing so, to try to balance the need to protect members with that of encouraging employers to provide pensionsThe report sets out recommendations for change, and identifies a number of key areas:

  •  Legislation should be less detailed, and greater clarity is needed. There should be simple rules governing what members should be told by the schemes of which they are a part; 
  • It should be easier for scheme rules to be changed to take advantage of changes to legislation; 
  • Changes are needed in relation to when an employer, which leaves a multi-employer scheme, must make a payment to the scheme; 
  • It should be easier for employers to recover surplus funds in their own schemes; and 
  • Greater focus should be paid to ensuring that trustees at trustee board level develop their expertise, rather than individual trustees.

Government ministers are set to review the report’s findings and publish a response in the autumn.

The report can be viewed at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/pensionsreform/pdfs/ReviewPaperJuly2007.pdf