An adviser has called for the Pensions Regulator to reconsider its decision not to create a list of pension schemes to help small employers identify those suitable for automatic enrolment.
Joe Sanders, a financial planner for Yorkshire-based Informed Financial Planning, said: “If a list were constructed with set objectives in place, and monitored continuously, we would welcome it.”
He said he was unsurprised that the Pensions Regulator had put the plans on hold for the time being, “due to the amount of work required to set this up and monitor it,” but such a list would be very helpful for schemes and advisers.
Moreover, it could be used as a signpost for independent financial advice, he said, adding: “It should firmly stipulate that advice should be sought from an IFA, as marrying the employees objectives with their requirements and the processes of the providers requires specialist advice.”
The proposals had been put forward in response to a consultation launched by TPR last November.
The regulator’s consultation considered whether publishing a list of pension schemes on its website would help identify risk and also what criteria the list would use.
It had suggested publishing a list of pension schemes directly available to any employer, irrespective of how many workers they have or how much they pay them.
Although there was broad support for such a list, TPR scotched the idea earlier this month.
Most of the 43 written responses from pension schemes, business adviser firms, pension/payroll administration services firms, employers, pensions industry bodies and employer representative bodies, agreed with the proposals.
Most of the responses supported the publication of a list.
Several respondents suggested the regulator should make sure only good quality schemes should be allowed on the list.
Respondents said the list should be monitored to ensure schemes continued to meet the criteria.
Right to reply
A spokesman for TPR said: “We conclude that with current changes on governance under way and with assurance standards maturing, and given the results of the consultation, that it is not yet possible to set objective entry criteria that can be applied fairly and evenly to schemes.”