UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Pensions Regulator Delivering Outstanding Better Regulation

Press Release   •   Feb 01, 2010 11:39 GMT

The Pensions Regulator has made strong progress putting better regulation principles into practice according to a new report from the Better Regulation Executive published today. The report, part of a series of reviews of national regulators, examined how the regulator matched up to the principles of effective regulation set out by Philip Hampton in 2005. The Pensions Regulator works to improve confidence in work-based pensions by protecting members' benefits and encouraging high standards and good practice in running pension schemes. The report found that the Pensions Regulator had thoroughly embedded better regulation principles in its work at both strategic and operational levels and had integrated a risk-based approach into the culture of the organisation. It also highlighted other areas of its performance, including: its positive response to the rapidly changing economic climate; excellent stakeholder feedback on its consultation process; and establishing a ‘learning culture’ and actively seeking honest feedback. The report made a number of recommendations to help the regulator improve its service further, notably: extending its services to the trustees of smaller pension schemes to ensure they can be as well equipped as larger schemes;. ensuring they maintain their current high standard of operation when coping with significant new responsibilities regulating employers’ duties under the Pensions Act, due for implementation in 2012 Notes to editors The Better Regulation Executive’s full report on The Pensions Regulator can be found at www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/bre/inspection-enforcement/implementing-principles/reviewing-regulators/HIR%20Reports/page52313.html The Pensions Regulator is a statutory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Regulator was established in April 2005, replacing the previous occupational pensions regulator (OPRA, the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority). Its creation was one of the key elements of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA 2004). The review team was drawn from the Better Regulation Executive within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and from government and the regulatory sector, including Trading Standards and the National Audit Office. The Hampton Implementation Review process, that will examine a total of 31 national regulators, follow two independent reports by Sir Philip Hampton and Professor Richard Macrory on making inspection and enforcement of regulation more effective. The Hampton Review in 2005 - led by Sir Philip Hampton - recommended an end to the one size fits all approach to regulation and that regulators should take a risk-based approach to enforcement and information gathering. Among its findings were that regulators should carry out inspections only when needed and avoid unnecessary form-filling and duplication of effort or information. In 2006 Professor Richard Macrory's review of penalties for failure to comply with regulatory obligations recommended that regulators should focus on outcomes, rather than action. He recommended that sanctions should be aimed at changing the behaviour of non-compliant businesses and eliminating any financial gain from non-compliance. Examples of how individuals and businesses are benefiting from changes to regulation can be found on www.betterregulation.gov.uk. The site also invites suggestions for what else can be done to reduce red tape. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future. Contacts NDS Enquiries Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk