Spot checks by the Regulator on the way

The Pensions Regulator will be carrying out spot checks on employers across the UK to make sure they are complying with their workplace pensions duties.

While percentage compliance with the law remains in the high nineties and workplace saving is now the norm, we will continue to build on this success through our communications, intelligence gathering and enforcement work.

The inspections are part of our ongoing enforcement activity and employers we judge to be at risk of failing to meet their duties will be visited.

As well as providing valuable insight into employer behaviour, the spot checks are to investigate any non-compliance, to help employers get back on track or take enforcement action where necessary.

The inspections serve as a warning to employers that they cannot ignore the workplace pension and that deliberate non-compliance will not be tolerated.

Employers will be given a short period of notice before the inspection and they will be from a range of business sectors, including those at risk of failing to meet their duties, for example, the retail and hospitality sector.

BHS settlement

We have recently agreed a cash settlement worth up to £363m with Sir Philip Green.

The arrangement saw Sir Philip provide funding for a new independent pension scheme to give pensioners the option of the same starting pension they were originally promised by BHS, and higher benefits than they would get from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

This brings certainty to the 19,000 members of the existing BHS pension schemes and closed our enforcement action against Sir Philip.

The agreement represents a strong outcome for members of the BHS pension schemes. It takes account of the interests of pensioners and the PPF, and brings a welcome level of certainty to present and future pensioners.

Throughout our discussions with Sir Philip and his team, we made clear that we were determined to achieve the right outcome for members of the schemes, both in terms of the amount and the structure of the settlement.

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Pensions World is the leading monthly magazine for pensions professionals published by LexisNexis.