Sixty second summary
LGPS breaches of the law
05 Aug 2019 - Estimated reading time: 1 Minute
It’s been 4 years since changes to the public service pension governance arrangements were introduced. Much has been achieved in that time in putting all the structures in place. One area where we still see uncertainty, and where understanding could be improved is “breaches of the law”.
What is a breach of the law?
A breach of the law is “an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct.”. In the context of the LGPS, this could encompass a failure to do anything required under the Regulations, Framework or overriding legislation, as well as potentially extending to the provision of incorrect information in general correspondence or telephone conversations, no matter how large or small.
That’s quite a wide-ranging definition. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that questions remain even now, in this whole area. Questions like – When do you need to report a breach? What is material significance? Who is responsible for reporting breaches? Do I need to record every breach?
Let’s take a look.
When do you need to report a breach?
First, you need to check out the facts to establish whether a breach has actually occurred or that a legal duty has not been complied with (you must have what’s known as “reasonable cause” to believe a breach has occurred). It’s not enough to act on a suspicion alone. Wherever possible, you should work together with other “reporters” (more on that later) to reach a conclusion. But be careful to avoid “tipping off” where theft or fraud is suspected. In these cases you may require to whistleblow and independently go straight to the Pensions Regulator.
Download our full summary here.