TPR says small schemes winding up after value for member exercise

Regulator will now scrutinise DC schemes to check for value for members compliance

Jonathan Stapleton
clock • 1 min read
TPR interim director for frontline regulation Mel Charles
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TPR interim director for frontline regulation Mel Charles

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) says 16% of small defined contribution (DC) schemes included in a pilot value for members exercise have opted to wind-up after concluding they do not offer good value for members.

Regulations which came into force in October 2021 require trustees of schemes with less than £100m in assets to undertake a more detailed assessment of value for members than larger schemes.

Those failing to deliver value must set out a plan to improve or transfer members to a better-value scheme.

The regulator launched a pilot exercise among 25 schemes to ensure compliance with rules over value for member assessments - noting that four (16% of the schemes in this pilot) had concluded their schemes do not offer good value and have opted to wind them up.

TPR interim director for frontline regulation Mel Charles said: "Where trustees are found to be in breach of their duties on value, we'll want to understand how they'll improve. But, if they can't or won't, we expect them to transfer members to a better-value scheme and consider winding up their scheme.

"It is encouraging that our initiative has shown schemes are now actively choosing to wind up in the face of the new regulations."

Following this initial pilot, TPR said it will be scrutinising information from DC scheme returns with the potential for fines to be issued for non-compliance.

It said it has already issued a fine of £12,500 against a corporate trustee - a penalty that will be included in TPR's next compliance and enforcement bulletin, covering July to December 2023, which will be published later this spring. TPR added that further fines would be issued shortly.

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