The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has updated its guidance for schemes navigating funding or governance difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the latest information, published today (16 June), the watchdog said it was continuing easing late payment reporting for defined contribution (DC) and auto-enrolment providers, at 150 days from the 90 days it was before Covid-19.
It also said it is taking a "pragmatic approach" to annual benefit statements, recognising that Covid-19 "means schemes need additional time to issue these to members". However, on chair's statements, it said there was no discretion in law around enforcement but that it did not expect to review statements before the autumn.
The regulator also said trustees would continue to be asked to report any failure to prepare audited accounts, but it would not take any enforcement action where they are later signed off by 30 September.
However, TPR also resumed reporting information requirements in certain areas, noting that this would allow it to "horizon-scan effectively, identify risks, and act as necessary to protect savers".
From 1 July, trustees will be expected to report details including suspended or reduced contributions, including a revised recovery plan or a report of missed contributions; late valuations and recovery plan not agreed; and delays in cash equivalent transfer value quotations and payments.
Earlier on in the crisis, TPR said DB trustees should be open to request from sponsors to reduce or pause deficit recovery contributions (DRCs), provided that due diligence was carried out. It has now revealed around 10% of schemes have sought to defer DRCs, with discussions ongoing for others.
And from 30 June master trusts should return to issuing formal reports notifying TPR of all triggering and significant events.
Chief executive Charles Counsell said: "Covid-19 has had a huge impact on us all and so during this unprecedented time we have continued to listen and talk to trustees and employers. We are determined to help where we can by taking a pragmatic approach while remaining focused on the need to protect savers."
He continued: "In making decisions on regulatory action, we will continue to do so on a case-by-case basis and take a flexible and pragmatic approach where breaches are Covid-19 related. As such, we feel the resumption of some reporting is now important."
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