Video transcript: Nicola Parish calls on trustees to submit a scheme return
Interviewer: Nicola, TPR has today repeated its warning to defined contribution schemes to comply with pensions law or face a fine, what exactly have you done in this case?
Nicola Parish: In this case we’ve fined two sets of trustees for failing to send in their scheme return. We provided education and enablement for those trustees, through for example advice on our website and our customer support team is always available to provide guidance to trustees. Once the scheme return goes out trustees have six weeks within which to send that back to us. In this particular case it wasn’t sent back and we provide further advice, further support, education to help those trustees send in their scheme return. However, that scheme return wasn’t sent in and in the end we fined the trustees because this is an important piece of an administrative duty that a trustee has, and we want to ensure compliance.
Interviewer: You’ve mentioned that schemes have to provide this basic information, why is it so important that they give the regulator this type of information?
Nicola: The information is vital information for the regulator we use that information, we analyse it and it helps identify risks to member benefits. It’s actually also a basic administrative requirement that all trustees are required to comply with.
Interviewer: So if you decide to use your power how quickly will you use that power and how can you support trustees in the run up to using those powers?
Nicola: If we decide to use the power we must wait at least six weeks so all trustees have at least six weeks to send in their scheme return, but actually if we go back to before that we're providing lots of support and advice for trustees, there’s some web-based guidance that helps trustees understand how to complete the scheme return, there’s also other guidance on our website, and there’s always our customer support team who are on hand to provide guidance and advice to trustees. If they don’t send in the information after the six weeks we will still go back to the trustees and do what we can to encourage, enable, educate trustees about the importance of sending in their scheme return. What this case shows in the end though is if trustees don’t comply we will use our enforcement powers and we will impose a fine.
Interviewer: Nicola why does the regulator issue these regulatory intervention reports?
Nicola Parish: We use these reports to get the message out to our wider community about the actions that we will take in these circumstances and we hope that it will act as guidance and reminders to trustees to comply with these requirements.
Interviewer: Nicola, thank you.