Pensions Regulator publishes updated clearance guidance

The Pensions Regulator has published updated guidance to support trustees and employers dealing with events that might impact upon their pension scheme, and when applying for a clearance statement.

The guidance includes an emphasis on a principles-based approach encouraging parties to focus on the real impact of events on schemes, as well as updating guiding principles that trustees and employers should apply.

The guidance is designed to show employers how to assess the impact that different events will have on pension schemes.

Tony Hobman, chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, said †”The guidance has been created in line with our commitment to operate in a risk-based and proportionate manner and emphasises a principles-based approach to regulation.”

Zoe Lynch, solicitor at Sacker & Partners, said: “The clearance guidance confirms that employers are expected to look to guiding principles rather than rules to establish if clearance should be sought. The draft guidance included helpful examples but these have not made the final cut as the Regulator is concerned that providing examples could ‘undermine the successful reinforcement of a principle-based approach’.

“This places increased emphasis on professional interpretation of the guidance for the parties involved in a clearance application, which the Regulator itself acknowledges.”