The Pensions Regulator today began consulting on its draft code of practice developed to help public sector pension schemes meet their statutory governance and administration requirements.
The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 gave the regulator an expanded role on the oversight of public sector schemes. From 2015, the regulator will set standards with which schemes will have to comply.
Alongside the guidance, TPR has also published a draft regulatory strategy on how it would 'educate and enable public service schemes' to meet the standards of practice outlined in the code.
In September, TPR published its analysis on the state of schemes, warning that the sheer number of public service pension scheme members would make maintaining high-quality data a challenge.
Andrew Warwick-Thompson the regulator's executive director for defined contribution, governance and administration said: 'Our aim with this consultation is to gain views on whether the standards of conduct and practice expected are appropriate and sufficiently clear for those involved in running and managing public service pension schemes, in order to comply with the underlying legislation.'
He said good governance and administration was essential to ensure that retirement savers receive the right benefits at the right time.
Warwick-Thompson added that he hoped the code of practice would 'improve the efficiency of public service schemes and make them more cost-effective for employers, including government departments and local authorities'.
Meanwhile, the Department for Works and Pensions began a consultation on draft regulations for record-keeping by public service pension schemes. It covers records of: member information such as name and address; transactions including contribution; and pension board meetings and decisions. It also sets out how long scheme managers should retain records for.
The DWP said: 'Whilst we welcome comments on whether any of these regulations should be expanded, reduced or otherwise amended, they form part of the government's wider legislative and regulatory framework for public service pension schemes, which includes setting out the records that these schemes must keep and requiring scheme managers to report the late payment of member contributions to the Pensions Regulator and members.'
Both TPR and DWP consultations will close on February 17 next year. TPR said a finalised code of practice is expected to be laid before Parliament in autumn next year. The DWP said it expected its amended regulations to come into force in April 2015.