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In order to meet its objectives, The Pensions Regulator requires detailed, accurate and up-to-date information about all pension schemes.

These are our main sources of information:

The scheme return

One of The Pensions Regulator's powers is to require all schemes to complete a regular scheme return. This provides us with a wide range of information about schemes, including details of membership, sponsoring employers, trustees, advisers, administration, funding and investment.

All schemes except the smallest will have to complete a return every year.

Exchange, our online services system, allows schemes to complete their scheme return and update scheme details online.

Reports from 'whistleblowers'

Reports about breaches of the law relating to pension schemes are an important source of information for the regulator. The duty to report significant breaches - often referred to as 'whistleblowing' - applies to a wide range of people, including trustees (and their advisers and service providers), employers, and a scheme's administrators and professional advisers.

The Pensions Regulator has issued a code of practice on the duty to report breaches of the law.

Scheme funding

If there has been a failure to comply with the new scheme funding framework then, depending on the nature of the failure, the trustees or scheme actuary are required to report this to The Pensions Regulator. If a scheme has a funding shortfall at its latest actuarial valuation, the trustees are required to send certain documents, including the latest recovery plan and schedule of contributions, to the regulator.

Notifiable events

Employers and trustees have to tell us without delay about certain 'notifiable' events. These are specific events, relating to a scheme or an employer, which are likely to have a major impact on the security of members' benefits - for example, a significant reduction in scheme membership.

The Pensions Regulator is issuing a code of practice on notifiable events.