UK - Pension scheme trustees have been set a deadline of two years to ensure the key activities of winding up are completed, under a consultation paper issued today.
It also aims to ensure scheme assets are maximised and levy payments reduced by not incurring the costs of a lengthy wind up or passage through the PPF assessment period.
Minister for pensions reform Mike O'Brien said when an occupational pension scheme closed, members needed certainty rather than the anxiety of undue delays.
He said: "It's reasonable to expect a pension scheme to complete the key activities of wind up within two years. If the process drags on without good reason the regulator may intervene. The regulator's approach is to educate and enable in the first instance - but with the option of sanctions if required."
Pensions Regulator chief executive Tony Hobman said it was working closely with PPF and DWP to ensure consistency in this new regulatory approach and to reinforce the importance of good scheme governance both before and during wind up.
He said: "We believe there are only limited exceptions to meeting the two year timeframe. We will use our powers where appropriate, including issuing directions where we consider there have been unreasonable delays, or appointing trustees to schemes."
The document is available at: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/onlinePublications/policy.aspx
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