UK-based The Pension Regulator (TPR) has issued requests for the trustee boards of 400 pensions throughout the UK to review their data and recordkeeping practices within six months, because they “are believed to have failed to review their data in the last three years,” TPR said in a statement.
The institutions include defined benefit, defined contribution, and public service pensions in the country, the trustees of which are being asked to report to the TPR what proportion of their members they hold accurate common and pension-specific data for. “Those that fail to do so may face action, which could include an improvement notice about their inadequate internal controls. Failure to comply with the notice carries a fine of up to £5,000 for an individual or up to £50,000 in any other case.”
“Requiring trustees to carry out reviews will force them to look closely at their data and administration and take appropriate action to bring their systems up to scratch,” TPR’s Executive Director of Regulatory Policy David Fairs said in a statement.
The move is part of the organization’s efforts to drive up standards across a number of aspects for pension plans by strengthening their regulatory practices and improving conditions for pensioners.
Any pensions that discover their data does not hold up to a satisfactory benchmark are expected to draw up improvement plans to rectify the problem. The authority did not list any penalties for plans who don’t follow through with such action.
TPR earlier this year concluded that a number of “badly-run” pensions in the UK should consider consolidating or taking effective measures to improve. “There is stark evidence that the current system doesn’t work for all and there is a clear disparity between the experience of savers in well-run and badly-run pensions. If trustees cannot meet the standards we expect, we believe they should wind up and consolidate savers into a better run scheme,” TPR said.