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Regulatory Bodies

The department for work and pensions has 4 separate operational organisations:-

  • Job centre plus
  • The disability carers service
  • The child maintenance group
  • The pension service

It has the largest budget of all government bodies (in excess of £150 billion 28% of government spending). It serves over 20 million people.

  • The DWP is the department with responsibility for pension reform.
  • Pension Act 2008:- Auto Enrolment introduced and NEST
  • Pension Act 2011:- Refinement to automatic enrolment after review
  • Communication campaign:- The DWP has played a large role I advertising and promotion of AE.

The pension Regulator 2004:-

  • Aims to improve confidence in work based pensions by protecting the benefits of scheme members
  • To reduce the risk of situations arising that may lead to claims for compensation from the pension protection fund.
  • To promote good administration of work based pension schemes.

The pension act 2004 provides the regulator with flexible powers to enable it to meet its objectives.

The pension regulator powers are defined in statute and described on its website as falling into three broad categories:-

  • Investigating schemes: how they gather information to identify and monitor risks.
  • Putting things right: What they can do when a problem has been identified
  • Acting against avoidance:-

The Pension regulator collects data through an annual scheme return. Trustees and scheme managers are responsible for updating information to the pension regulator. It can demand documents relevant to its work as a regulator.

With regards to powers given by the pension act 2008, the pension regulator has designed an employer compliance regime based on the following steps:-

  • Engaging stakeholders by raising awareness of the new duties amongst the intermediarys that employers rely on.
  • Increasing employer understanding of their duties by a communications and education program.
  • Monitoring whether or not employers are complying with the automatic enrolment duties.

The pension regulator will work with companies that have non-compliance but will also issue fines to deter poor conduct.