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Important new Regulations that came into force with effect from 6 April 2018 imposed new obligations on the trustees or managers of defined contribution (DC) occupational pension schemes to publish their annual Chair’s statement ‘free of charge on a publicly available website’.
This new disclosure requirement applies to ‘relevant schemes’ and within 7 months of the scheme’s first year-end falling on or after 6 April 2018. Therefore pension trustees and managers of DC occupational schemes (including DC master trusts) now need to publish their Chair’s statements on a website which can be freely accessed by scheme members and the public alike.
A key requirement is there should be no barriers such as a password to access the Chair’s statement. There are no exceptions for small DC schemes, or if you currently don’t have a scheme website – the Pensions Regulator (TPR) still expects the pension trustees or scheme managers to put the information on to the internet.
Are you compliant?
Not every DC pension scheme will have a website to enable them to do this easily. For those that don’t, complying with the regulations provides a challenge for the pension trustees and scheme managers. A breach of the regulations could lead to a fine being imposed by the Pensions Regulator. The minimum fine is £500 per breach, potentially rising to £2,000 per breach.
Help is at hand
We know pension scheme administrators and consultants are looking at solutions to help clients meet this new requirement but, as professional pension trustees, we are mindful any solution needs to represent appropriate value for money. It is likely that not all current solutions will pass this test or meet the regulations to be freely accessible.
Punter Southall Governance Services Ltd (PSGS) can help you comply with the obligation to publish the Chair’s statement online.
PSGS clients can host their Chair’s statement on our website. Each pension scheme’s page can include the company/scheme logo, as well as links to other documentation relevant to the scheme. There’s a small one-off fee, which includes ongoing hosting and minimal annual changes (like small wording changes and uploading updated documents). Easy compliance and value for money!
We’d be happy to help other pension trustees/managers who need to comply too. Why risk being fined when a cost-effective solution is available to you to comply and make your Chair’s statement freely available online?