The role of the Pensions Regulator
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
The role of the Pensions Regulator

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The role of the Pensions Regulator
  • Background to the role
  • Objectives of the Regulator
  • The non-executive committee
  • The Determinations Panel
  • Powers of the Regulator
  • The Regulator’s codes of practice
  • The Tax and Chancery Chamber of the Upper Tribunal
  • Division of responsibilities between the Regulator and the FCA

This Practice Note provides an overview of the role of the Pensions Regulator. For information on the role of the Pensions Regulator as regards public sector pension schemes, see Practice Note: The role of the Pensions Regulator in respect of public sector schemes.

Background to the role

The Pensions Regulator (the Regulator), an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Work and Pensions, is the UK regulator for work-based pension schemes.

The post of the Regulator was created on 6 April 2005 by Pensions Act 2004 (PeA 2004), s 1 and replaced the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (otherwise known as OPRA), the previous pensions regulatory body. The role of the Regulator and its powers are, however, much wider in scope than those of its predecessor.

The term 'work-based pension scheme' is defined in PeA 2004, s 5(3) as meaning:

  1. an occupational pension scheme

  2. a personal pension scheme where 'direct payment arrangements' exist in respect of one or more members of the scheme who are employees, or

  3. a stakeholder pension scheme

For more information on types of pension arrangements, see Practice Note: Types of pension arrangements for employees.

The definition of 'direct payment arrangements' is set out under the Pensions Schemes Act 1993 (PSA 1993), s 111A(2) as meaning arrangements under which contributions fall to be paid by or on behalf of the employer towards the scheme:

  1. on the employer’s

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