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NAPF attacks pensions regulator over DC governance proposals

The National Association of Pension Funds has launched a stinging attack on The Pensions Regulator after contract-based schemes were excluded from proposed new occupational DC governance rules.

Yesterday, TPR published a consultation setting out a new framework for the regulation of DC schemes. It includes 31 quality features it wants pension schemes to be able to demonstrate.

While the regulator says it expects both trust and contract-based workplace schemes to apply the quality features, TPR’s remit only covers trust-based pensions. In the consultation, TPR says FSA rules which govern contract-based schemes already include provisions which match the quality features it has set out.

Following publication of the proposals, the NAPF issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” the regulator had decided to limit the proposals to trust-based pension schemes.

Speaking to Money Marketing, NAPF senior policy adviser Richard Wilson says: “We have deep reservations about the idea that the FSA’s rules are enough to protect members of workplace pension schemes.

“FSA regulation often entirely misses the point when it comes to workplace DC. Workplace pensions are different to other financial products because they are bought by the employer on behalf of their employees.

“Selling to an employer is not a regulated activity and because of inertia, most employees will remain in that product. That is a significant risk and it is up to The Pensions Regulator to make sure members are protected.”

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