Coming together—FCA and TPR regulate defined contribution pensions

Coming together—FCA and TPR regulate defined contribution pensions

Lesley Harrold of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP discusses the code governing the new joint regulation of defined contribution pensions (DC) by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and says joined-up regulation is essential in what is a time of dynamic change in the DC pensions world.

Original news

The Pensions Regulator and the FCA publish joint regulatory guide, LNB News 21/03/2014 66

A new guide that sets out how TPR and the FCA regulate DC workplace pensions has been launched. Aimed at trustees, advisers and pension providers, the new guide outlines each regulator’s approach, and how they work together to ensure consistency.

What is the respective remit of TPR and FCA when it comes to regulating workplace DC pensions?

There are two sorts of workplace DC pension schemes—trust-based and contract-based.

The regulation of occupational DC schemes is part of TPR’s remit, along with the regulation of occupational defined benefit (DB) schemes. An occupational scheme is established under trust by an employer (or a group of employers) and is administered by trustees, who may be either individual trustees, or a corporate trustee body. The trustees have a duty both to act, and to use any powers they have under the scheme’s trust deed and rules, in the best interest of the scheme’s members (beneficiaries).

The second type of DC pension scheme, a contract-based scheme, is regulated by the FCA, which recently superseded the Financial Services Authority (FSA), together with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

The FCA was established under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, Pt IA (FSMA 2000), and the PRA is governed by the same legislation. The PRA regulates financial institutions, including banks, building societies and insurers.

The FCA regulates:
• firms authorised under FSMA
• conduct in retail and wholesale financial markets
• supervises the trading infrastructure that supports retail and wholesale financial markets, and
• regulates firms not regulated by the PRA

The FCA regulates contract-based DC schemes which may be either group personal pension schemes (GPPs) or individual personal pensions. GPPs and personal pensions are essentially the same, in that they offer a tax-efficient pension savings vehicle under a contract between the member and the provider. A GPP is a number of personal pensions from the same provider which may be offered by an

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