View more on these topics

Providers hit out at TPR over auto-enrol contribution policing plans

Providers have criticised proposals from The Pensions Regulator designed to strengthen their role in policing employer contributions under automatic enrolment.

Last week, the regulator published a consultation outlining how it wants employer pension contributions to be monitored under auto-enrolment.

It proposes forcing providers to check the way employers calculate member contributions to make sure they are receiving the right amount of pension.

Speaking to Money Marketing, The Pensions Regulator executive director for employer compliance Charles Counsell says: “Automatic enrolment only works if the contributions that are meant to go into a pension scheme are maintained over the long term.

“So we want to provide more clarity about how that will work. The employers with staging dates in the next 12 months are familiar with pensions and making contributions and are likely to make sure they run correctly, so this is aimed at small and medium sized companies which are less familiar.

“We are setting out clearly the responsibility of the scheme, the employer and the employee. It has to be right that the member should expect the scheme to look at the contributions that are going in, check they are right and if they are not the scheme and the employer should sort that out.

“What we are looking for is wilful breaches of duties, so we want the scheme providers to tell us when employers are wilfully not paying the right amount. That is when we will take action.”

Pension providers say the requirement to monitor contributions is an extension of their current duties and will result in costly system changes.

Legal & General pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding says: “At the moment we take what the employer gives us in contributions and we bank it. We do not go back and undertake checks as to how it is calculated, which is what The Pensions Regulator wants us to do.

“It is frustrating that, so close to the launch of auto-enrolment, we are now being asked to make extensive and potentially expensive system changes.”

Aegon regulatory strategy manager Kate Smith says: “This is another increase in the workload we are expected to undertake. There is a reliance on the employer providing us with the correct information, which is not always the case at the moment.

“If we do not get the right information, it will be difficult for us to monitor contributions accurately.”

Association of British Insurers director of life, savings and protection Stephen Gay says: “We have been discussing the issue of maintaining contributions with the regulator for a number of months.

“Providers have a duty to check that the expected contributions are made on time but it would be unrealistic to expect that they could monitor the application of internal agreements between employer and employee and we believe this is outside the current framework of workplace pension rules.”

Radcliffe & Newlands chartered financial planner Mel Kenny says: “The increased costs of doing this will inevitably filter down to members.

“Self-regulation of contributions with the threat of a fine should be considered in the first instance.”



IFP conf: Chamberlain attacks ‘value destroying’ networks

Succession chief executive Simon Chamberlain has blasted “value destroying” networks and attacked the support service model. Speaking at the IFP annual conference in Newport today, Chamberlain said network members would find it more difficult to sell their businesses and raised concerns about liability issues with big distributors. He said: “The fact is Sesame, Openwork, Intrinsic, […]


Aifa calls for FCA to regulate claims firms

Aifa has called for claims management firms to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. In August, the Ministry of Justice published a consultation paper which proposed new rules for CMCs that will require them to obtain signed contracts from consumers and force them to provide “unambiguous” information about relevant ombudsman schemes. In its response […]

Louise Colley MM blog

Louise Colley: Moving away from transactional protection advice

I’m sure many of you were engrossed in the London 2012 Olympic games. We’ve enjoyed the highs and lows, from the ceremonies to the endless Team GB medal successes. But of particular note was the truly stand-out performance of the Team GB cycling team under the masterful leadership of performance director, Dave Brailsford. How did […]


Ed Miliband calls for 1% pension charges cap

Labour leader Ed Miliband has heaped more pressure on the pensions industry by calling for a 1 per cent cap on charges. According to the Guardian, Miliband (pictured) told delegates in Manchester that pension companies take “thousands of pounds in hidden fees and charges” from retirement funds. He said: “What’s been happening is while you […]

FAMR – a familiar response

Pension specialist Fiona Tait takes a look at the Financial Advice Market Review and assesses the three areas where it suggests improvements can be made With significant budget changes ruled out (for a while anyway), the pension community briefly turned its attention to the FCA’s final report on its Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), hoping […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm