The Pensions Regulator has announced further changes to the schedule for its work after the Department of Work and Pensions yesterday announced it is extending the deadline for compliance with EU rules on scheme-specific funding to 30 December.
This is the second time the DWP has put back the deadline for implementing regulations under the EU Pensions Directive which were due to come into force on 23rd September.
When they do come into force, the regulations for SSF will replace the minimum funding rule which currently regulates how many assets a company must hold to meet pensions liabilities.
The Pensions Regulator says it will publish the Funding Defined Benefits Code of Practice once the regulations are published by the DWP, to ensure the code accurately reflects the regulations.
Specimen funding documents designed to assist trustees and their advisers will also be published in December.
The regulator intends to publish its consultation document describing how it will operate in relation to the new requirements and how it will use its powers at the end of October 2005. This, it says, is to allow earlier discussion and clarity about how it will regulate scheme funding.
As a result of the revised timetable for publishing the regulations, trustees beginning their valuation between 22 September and 30 December will now have an extra three months on top of the usual fifteen months, to complete their valuation and put in place an updated schedule of contributions, the regulator says.
All of the documents will be available on a dedicated page on the Pensions Regulator’s website.
The DWP says the revised timetable will allow it to “make the necessary technical amendments to these detailed regulations” as Stephen Timms, minister for pensions reform, says:
"We are all agreed that it is in everyone's interest that we get the regulations right, so that is why we have taken the extra time to take on board stakeholders' comments."
The intention is regulations will still apply to actuarial valuations based on an effective date of 22 September onwards which are completed after the revised coming into force date of 30 December 2005.
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