Press release

Government calls for evidence on regulatory disparities

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A call to review the differences between trust-based occupational pensions and contract-based workplace personal pension schemes.

In the run up to the introduction of automatic enrolment, the Government has today launched a call for evidence to review the regulatory differences between trust-based occupational pension schemes and contract-based workplace personal pension schemes.

The call for evidence is the first step towards ensuring that the legislative framework for workplace pension schemes is straightforward and supports the goals of increasing individuals’ retirement savings.

Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb said:

We need to ensure that differences in regulatory regimes don’t result in some people failing to save for their retirement. The use of short service refund rules is an area where we will take action if it appears the rules risk the success of the workplace pension reforms.

The Department is interested in views on potential solutions to address problems created by regulatory differences, particularly short service refunds which provide a valuable administrative easement. Any solutions will be considered against the benefits to individuals, the potential burden on schemes and employers, and the Government’s de-regulatory agenda.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks from 31 January 2011 until 18 April 2011.

Notes to Editors

  1. The call for evidence is available here:
  2. The Pensions Bill, which is currently in the Lords, will implement measures in the Making Automatic Enrolment Work review. The Pension Bill is available at The review is available here:
  3. The Pensions Act 2008 introduced measures to encourage greater private saving which includes workplace pension reforms due to come into effect in 2012. These included new legal duties requiring employers to automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme; a compliance regime enforced by the Pensions Regulator; and a new workplace pension scheme, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).
  4. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has also published a discussion paper on its approach to the DC pension market and this call for evidence should be read in conjunction with their discussion paper. The document is available at: