New offences and powers for the Pensions Regulator: what employers and trustees should know – update

Hogan Lovells

The passage of the Pension Schemes Act 2021 (the Act) into the statute books has received press coverage far beyond the usual pension industry commentary. New criminal offences and civil penalties, plus increased powers for the Pensions Regulator (tPR), have raised concerns not just among sponsoring employers of defined benefit (DB) schemes but also from those with a wider relationship with these employers, such as group parent companies and the employer’s lenders.

In particular:

 The Act creates new criminal offences, some punishable by up to seven years' imprisonment, plus a new civil financial penalty of up to £1m.

 The circumstances in which tPR can issue a contribution notice (CN) requiring funding to be made to a DB scheme will be widened.

 tPR will have increased powers to demand information, inspect premises or require an individual to attend an interview.

 The notifiable events regime, requiring tPR to be told of specified events, will be extended.

 The scheme specific funding regime will be strengthened, with a new requirement for trustees to prepare a “funding and investment strategy”.

Please see full Publication for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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