Identity checks for pensions loosened

Employers will not have to ask employees for proof of identity before letting them join a pension scheme, according to draft money laundering regulations published today by economic secretary Ed Balls.

The proposed regulations, which are designed to ensure the UK response to money laundering at home and abroad is effective, proportionate and engages with all key stakeholders, laid out areas of risk where tough action was needed, alongside areas of low risk where regulatory burdens can be reduced. Proposals regarding the latter stated: "Firms will be able to make fewer checks in low-risk situations, such as employer-led pension funds and child trust fund administration [and] the number of identity checks will be reduced with firms being able to rely upon checks of other firms in certain situations."

The regulations are open to public consultation until 2 April 2007 and will be implemented by December this year.