Synopsis: The DWP has issued a consultation paper putting forward Governments proposals along with draft Regulations for consultation.

Date posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The DWP has issued a “Better workplace pensions: putting savers’ interests first” consultation paper putting forward Governments proposals along with draft Regulations for consultation. The consultation period will last until 14 November 2014. Once stakeholder comments and views have been considered, the Government intends to lay regulations in Parliament for its approval early in 2015. This Bulletin will provide a brief summary and we will consider the proposals in more detail in a separate Bulletin.

This paper builds on the March Command Paper by publishing the Government’s response to its consultation on minimum governance standards and on two questions on transparency. It also launches a consultation on draft regulations on governance and charges in occupational pension schemes. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the majority of this legislation will come into force from April 2015, alongside Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules in relation to workplace personal pension schemes where appropriate.

This paper will help members of workplace pension schemes, and all those involved in delivering them, understand more about how the Government intends to legislate for the Better Workplace Pensions measures. It includes at Annex C draft regulations which reflect the Government’s policy in relation to occupational pension schemes. The central elements of this paper are:

The Government’s response to the previous consultation to set minimum governance standards in workplace pension schemes via new responsibilities on those running schemes. DWP regulations will, subject to Parliamentary approval, introduce these requirements for occupational pension schemes. Since this is a response we are not seeking comments on the policy but welcome comments on the draft regulations. FCA rules will place requirements on providers of workplace personal pensions to establish Independent Governance Committees (IGCs) to oversee the minimum standards.

The Government’s response to two specific consultation questions with regard to the transparency of costs and charges in workplace schemes and an update on the Government’s wider plans to improve transparency.

An update on the Government’s approach to charges in workplace pension schemes, adding detail to the measures announced in the March Command Paper. Since this paper sets out more detail on how the Government’s proposal in relation to charges will work, we are seeking comments on this policy and how this is reflected in the draft regulations.

More detail on how workplace pensions will continue to be overseen by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the FCA across occupational pension schemes and workplace personal pension schemes respectively. Again, we are seeking comments on these proposals in relation to occupational pension schemes since this paper contains a more detailed explanation of how the Government proposes this will work. FCA will shortly commence a separate consultation in relation to personal workplace pension schemes.

An implementation timetable for the Better Workplace Pensions agenda.

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