Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Third Report


Memorandum by the Department of Social Security



  1. The Committee has asked the Department for a Memorandum on the following point:

    Regulation 15(1) of S.I. 1997/724 provides that an applicant may withdraw his application for review at any time by sending or delivering to the Office of the Pensions Compensation Board a written notice stating that the application is withdrawn. On the other hand, regulation 9 of S.I. 1997/794 provides that the applicant may at any time before the date fixed for a review withdraw an application by sending to the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority a written notice stating that he withdraws his application for review. Explain the reason for the difference (indicated by the italicised words) between the two provisions.

  2. The sets of Regulations referred to relate to the procedures to be adopted by two separate bodies in the performance of very different functions. The Pensions Compensation Board is responsible for deciding whether, and if so how much, compensation is payable to the trustees of an occupational pension scheme where the employer is insolvent and there are reasonable grounds for believing dishonesty to be the cause of a reduction in the value of scheme assets: the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority, on the other hand, is responsible for the regulation of occupational pension schemes. It was accordingly not the Department's intention that the provisions of one set of these Regulations should necessarily replicate the provisions of the other in any respect.

  3. The final form of wording in each set reflected views expressed not only by the Council on Tribunals, but also those of other bodies who were consulted by the Department. The content of regulation 15(1) of S.I. 1997/724 resulted from the Department's taking into account views expressed by the Pensions Compensation Board in relation to the draft of Regulations intended to regulate the Board's own procedure. The Board, inter alia, desired the removal of the more restricted right of withdrawal which had featured in the precursor of regulation 15(1). As neither the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority, nor any other body consulted, had expressed any dissatisfaction with the draft of regulation 9 of S.I. 1997/794 (the form of which remains unchanged in the actual regulation), when those Regulations were consulted on some months previously, it was considered neither necessary nor appropriate subsequently to alter the form of that regulation so as to mirror changes made to regulation 15(1) of S.I. 1997/724 in the light of responses received on consultation.

12th June 1997

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