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Business impact target

About the BIT

The government introduced a business impact target (BIT) in 2015 with the aim of reducing the burden of regulation on business.

The Business Secretary sets and reports on performance against a target for this over the life of each Parliament.

In 2016, the scope of the BIT was extended to include the actions of statutory regulators, including The Pensions Regulator (TPR). This means that the actions we take that have an impact on business will count towards the BIT.

The specific actions within scope are defined as ‘regulatory provisions’. They are divided into 'qualifying regulatory provisions’ (QRPs) and 'non-qualifying regulatory provisions’ (NQRPs).

All QRPs must be impact assessed. That assessment must then be verified by the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC). The RPC has been appointed as the independent verification body for the BIT. It has statutory responsibility for rating the quality of evidence and analysis used to determine the impact of each QRP. This is to ensure that regulatory decisions are made on the basis of robust, evidence-based policy making. The RPC does not comment on the policy merits of proposals.

NQRPs do not have to be risk assessed but should be described briefly in the form of a summary.

Information about QRPs and NQRPs must be provided to cover a reporting period.

Under the current Parliament, the first reporting period runs from 12 December 2019 to 11 December 2024.

NQRP summary report for the period 13 December 2019 to 12 December 2020

Excluded category Summary of measure(s), including any impact data where available
Measures certified as being below de minimis (measures with an EANDCB below +/- £5 million) Following consideration of this category, there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify
EU Regulations, Decisions and Directives and other international obligations, including the implementation of the EU Withdrawal Bill and EU Withdrawal Agreement Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion
Measures certified as concerning EU Withdrawal Bill operability measures Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion
Pro-competition Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion
Systemic financial risk Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion.
Civil emergencies TPR implemented temporary easements in regards of specific duties for those running a pension scheme in response to the Covid19 pandemic. The easements included pausing the requirement to report breaches of the law for trustees and administrators and for reporting the late payment of contributions to pension schemes.
Fines and penalties

In respect of the regulation of work-based occupational pension schemes during this reporting period:

TPR issued 91 penalty notices.

In respect of the regulation of the automatic enrolment duties under the Pensions Act 2008:

TPR issued 6,270 fixed penalty notices and 17,378 escalating penalty notices.

Misuse of drugs Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion
Measures certified as relating to the safety of tenants, residents and occupants in response to the Grenfell tragedy Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion

In respect of the regulation of work-based occupational pension schemes, casework activities in this reported period included:

  • 3 reports published on casework under section 89 of the Pensions Act 2004
  • 86 demands for information under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004
  • TPR appointed 306 trustees to pension schemes, in accordance with their powers to do so

In respect of the regulation of the automatic enrolment duties under the Pensions Act 2008 casework activity included:

  • 48,890 compliance notices
  • 14,893 unpaid contributions notices
  • 48 inspections

During this reporting period a total of around 92,772 employers completed their mandatory declaration of compliance, to inform TPR how they have complied with their legal duties under the Pensions Act 2008.

Education, communications and promotion

During this reporting period TPR officials participated at around 29 speaking events and seminars.

TPR carried out around 30 campaigns on various topics relating to occupational pension scheme regulation and automatic enrolment.

TPR published a series of COVID-19 related guidance for trustees and employers between March and November 2020 That guidance provides trustees and employers with further information about how they can still comply with their duties given the challenging situation resulting from the pandemic. To this end, the guidance links to previous published guidance by TPR and does not set new standards

TPR published specific guidance on employer distress on 11 November. The guidance aims to raise awareness among trustees of how to better prepare for the possibility that the scheme sponsoring employer faces a financial distress situation. The guidance links to previous guidance published by TPR.

TPR updated it's guidance for trustees, employers and those considering setting up and running a DB superfund providing further clarity on the implications of the government's consultation on superfunds, and our approach to regulating such schemes prior to legislation. This was an update following discussion and engagement with superfunds and other stakeholders."

Overall, in respect of both the regulation of automatic enrolment and work-based pension schemes TPR made 315 updates to the website.

TPR received and processed a total of 75 complaints and 78 Freedom of Information requests. TPR reported a total of 67 data breaches to the ICO.

Activity related to policy development

TPR carried out consultations on the future of trusteeship and governance in pension schemes, guidance on engaging with investment consultants and fiduciary managers, and targeted consultation with key stakeholders for superfunds entering the occupational pension scheme market.

TPR published a discussion document setting out its strategy for the future and seeking feedback from stakeholders. In this document TPR outlines its commitment to savers and the five strategic priorities that they have identified as their potential future focus.

TPR published a consultation document on the proposed changes to the DB funding code. The document sets out TPR’s new proposed regulatory approach, the principles TPR thinks should underpin the new framework and how they could be applied in practice.

Changes to management of regulator Following consideration of the exclusion category there are no measures for the reporting period that qualify for the exclusion

BIT verification

Our general approach will be to submit QRP assessments to the RPC for verification before the change itself has been implemented.

BIT template

The Better Regulation Executive has provided regulators with a template to use in order to present their assessments. We intend to use this template for all our assessments.

Approach to submission of QRP assessments to RPC

To ensure effective use of resources both for us and the RPC, our general approach to submitting QRP assessments will be as follows:

  • Large QRP assessments (where the impact is expected to be material) and assessments in respect of any proposals on which we are publicly consulting will be submitted as soon as they are ready.
  • We will group related assessments by theme and send them together, aggregating them into one assessment where possible.
  • We will bundle small but unrelated QRP assessments and submit them quarterly. Quarterly periods will begin from the first working day of April, July, October and January.

Publication of verified assessments

We will publish large assessments as soon as possible after receiving RPC verification. If we are consulting, we will aim to include the verified assessment as part of our consultation response. Small QRP assessments that are submitted quarterly will be published quarterly once verified.

Submission close to the end of a reporting period

If a QRP is expected to come into force during the reporting period we will try to submit the assessment at least eight weeks before the end of that period. If it appears unlikely that we will meet this deadline, we will liaise with the RPC and agree with them whether it would be more appropriate to submit it in the following reporting period.

If a QRP is not expected to come into force until the next reporting period, we will try to avoid submitting the assessment during the final eight weeks of the current reporting period.

NQRP summary

We intend to provide the RPC with our final draft annual NQRP summary as early as possible so they can provide timely advice on its completeness before publication.


We will keep the RPC informed of any changes to these plans.

QRP assessments and assurance of NQRP summaries for previous periods

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions for the period 21 June 2018 to 20 June 2019

There were no qualifying regulatory provisions for this period.

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions for the period 8 May 2015 to 8 June 2017

Title of measure  Description of measure  BIT score (£ millions) 
Simplified automatic enrolment (AE) communications and provision of improved AE guidance This measure simplified the language of the communications that TPR sends to all employers ahead of the date they become subject to the automatic enrolment legislation. The measure also simplifies the guidance content on TPR website and introduces a 'duties checker' tool that allows an employer to find out when they will become subject to the duties and what they need to do to comply.
-£158 million 
Investment guidance
This guidance aims to support the trustee boards of private sector defined benefit or ‘hybrid benefits’ pension schemes. It sets out the main principles they should consider when setting out an investment strategy. The guidance also sets out TPR’s expectation that trustees suitably document investment arrangements that are appropriate for their scheme’s circumstances, including their level of complexity.
£0 million 
Defined contribution code of practice
This measure updates the code of practice for trustee boards of occupational defined contribution pension schemes.
Scheme return changes
Trustees of occupational schemes are required to periodically submit a return to TPR. The information in the return is used to identify schemes which may present a potential risk to members' benefits. It is also used to ensure TPR's information is accurate and to calculate levies due from the scheme. This measure introduced some changes to the questions in the return as a consequence of changes to legislation and the pension landscape.
£0 million
Changes to information that needs to be sent to TPR about AE
Employers are required to submit a declaration of compliance to TPR. TPR is considering communicating its expectation to employers and their advisers that in certain circumstances they do not need to provide the statutory information about how they have complied with their automatic enrolment duties until TPR asks them for it.
£0 million
Simplifying AE for new employers created between 2 April 2017 and 30 September 2017
Under the automatic enrolment legislation all employers have a date when their automatic enrolment duties start. This is called the staging date. New employers created in this period may fall within the staging period set out in the legislation and be allocated a staging date. Or some new employers created in this period may have their automatic enrolment duties start immediately when they become an employer. Which one it is depends upon a combination of different circumstances. For simplicity, TPR is considering treating all employers created in this period as if they have one of two staging dates only. All communications from TPR and enforcement will reflect the staging date assigned to the employer.  £0 million