Role of The Pensions Regulator

Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Role of The Pensions Regulator
  • Introduction
  • Registration with TPR
  • Codes of practice
  • Reporting to TPR
  • Trustees and TPR
  • The Trustee toolkit
  • TPR and automatic enrolment
  • TPR and pension liberation

Role of The Pensions Regulator


Created by the Pensions Act 2004, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) replaced the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) from 6 April 2005. TPR has wider powers and a more proactive and risk-based approach to the regulation of occupational pension schemes.

TPR has a clear set of objectives, as follows:

  1. to protect the benefits of members of occupational pension schemes

  2. to protect the benefits of members of personal pension schemes (where there is a direct payment arrangement)

  3. to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes

  4. to reduce the risk of situations arising that may lead to claims for compensation from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF)

  5. to maximise employer compliance with employer duties (including the requirement to automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying pension provision with a minimum contribution) and with certain employment safeguards

  6. to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer, in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Pensions Act 2004, ss 221–233 (Part 3)

To meet these objectives, TPR concentrates its resources on schemes which pose the greatest risk to the security of members’ benefits. The regulator also promotes high standards of scheme administration and works to ensure that those involved in running pension schemes have the necessary skills and knowledge.

Registration with TPR

Registered pension schemes have three months from the date of registration with HMRC to register the scheme with the regulator. The scheme trustees or scheme managers could face a fine if they do not do this on time.

For many schemes, the information required is very straightforward, such as the name and pension scheme tax reference number, details of the trustees, employer(s), insurer (if appropriate), and the number of members.

Codes of practice

TPR targets its resources on those areas where members’ benefits are at greatest risk. TPR has a number of regulatory tools, including issuing codes of practice, to enable it to meet its statutory objectives.

TPR’s 15 codes

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