Regulator launches public sector pensions consultation

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a consultation on a draft code of practice to help public service pension schemes meet governance and administration requirements set out in legislation.

The Regulating public service pension schemes: our approach to enabling high standards of governance and administration consultation will run until 17 February 2014.

It is anticipated that the code of practice will be laid before Parliament in the autumn of 2014.

TPR is also consulting on a draft regulatory strategy describing how it will educate and enable public sector schemes to meet the standards of practice outlined in the code but, where necessary, it will take enforcement action to ensure the underlying legal requirements are adhered to.

TPR was given an expanded role in the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, which received Royal Assent in April 2013, in respect of the governance and administration of public service schemes.

From April 2015, it will set standards of practice in order to help local government, the NHS, teachers, civil service, armed forces, police, firefighters and judicial pension schemes meet governance and administration requirements set out in legislation.

Collectively, these schemes represent around 12 million members and more than 22,000 employers.

Andrew Warwick-Thompson (pictured), executive director for defined contribution (DC), governance and administration at TPR, said: “Our aim with this consultation is to gain views on whether the standards of conduct and practice expected are appropriate and sufficiently clear for those involved in running and managing public service pension schemes, in order to comply with the underlying legislation.

“Good governance and administration is essential to ensure that retirement savers receive the right benefits at the right time. It should also improve the efficiency of public service schemes and make them more cost effective for employers, including government departments and local authorities.”