TPR to promote approved GPP list

Andrew Warwick-Thompson, TPR
Andrew Warwick-Thompson, TPR

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is planning to publish a list of group personal pensions (GPPs) open to any employers seeking to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.

The list will perform a similar function to the list of independently reviewed master trusts that are open to all employers. GPP providers that meet similar criteria are being encouraged to apply to appear on the new list on the regulator’s website.

To make it onto the list GPPs must be open to all employers and providers will be required to confirm that their independent governance committee or governance advisory arrangement has assessed the product on offer. TPR is producing a checklist for providers to use when submitting information.

TPR says well-run multi-employer master trusts and GPPs are the best choice for small and micro employers preparing to meet their workplace pension duties.

TPR executive director for regulatory policy Andrew Warwick-Thompson says: “Publishing a list of GPPs in addition to our list of master trusts is the right thing to do. We have always been clear that for the hundreds and thousands of small and micro employers preparing to comply with automatic enrolment, a well-run master trust or a group personal pension is the best choice.

“We look forward to hearing from GPP providers keen to appear on the new list as we strive to highlight the wide choice of well-run, scalable and sustainable schemes which are available to all employers. I anticipate GPP providers on the list will work hard to make their product as appealing to small and micro employers as possible.”

Sackers head of DC Helen Ball says: “Having a GPP list managed by TPR could be a helpful tool, particularly for small and micro employers when thinking about who to choose as their automatic enrolment provider. Such employers are often less supported by external advice, so this could make their decision more straightforward.

“In a wider sense, the GPP list is an interesting example of how the “levelling” of the playing field between contract based GPPs and trust based master trusts is taking shape. Whilst both are subject to different regulatory requirements, it is good to know that things are joining up behind the scenes with TPR and the FCA working together in this. Their collaboration will help employers make sensible choices for automatic enrolment purposes, from a TPR perspective, and also ties in with the question of “value” which is being considered by IGCs, to meet FCA requirements.”

A TPR spokesperson says: “We are now inviting GPP providers to contact us to apply to appear on the list by demonstrating they meet the relevant criteria.

Once we have the relevant material to meet the criteria we will then begin a review process. When we are satisfied the material is accurate and meets the criteria, we will add a scheme to the list.

We have received statements of interest from some providers, and will be considering applications as they arrive, it is impossible to say when the list will be updated but we strongly urge those who wish to appear on the list to contact TPR”

Full criteria for TPR’s GPP list:

  • Providers will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (and Prudential Regulation Authority where applicable) for GPP provision.
  • The provider will confirm that their GPP is open to all employers who wish to use it to comply with their automatic enrolment duties regardless of projected membership numbers or contribution amounts.
  • All charges imposed on members in a default fund will be within the charge cap.
  • Providers will need to confirm that their independent governance committee (IGC) or governance advisory arrangement (GAA) has assessed the GPP (or relevant GPP product series) under offer.
  • Confirmation that the most recent IGC/GAA statement(s) can be easily obtained by employers considering using the GPP.
  • Member communications must include clear description of how tax relief is delivered.