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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 which, over the last Parliament, would have run from:           

  • 8 May 2015 to 26 May 2017, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2017
  • 27 May 2017 to 26 May 2018, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2018
  • 27 May 2018 to 26 May 2019, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2019
  • 27 May 2019 to 7 May 2020, with a publication deadline of at least two weeks before dissolution of Parliament

For each reporting period we must publish a list of QRPs, along with its BIT score validated by the RPC and a summary of all NQRPs.

The implication of the call for an early general election on 8 June 2017 is that the first reporting period will now be the last and will run from 8 May 2015 to 8 June 2017 (election day).

Once Parliament first assembles after the general election the first BIT reporting period will run from that date for a period of one year. The yearly reporting periods will then continue until the end of that Parliament.

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.

Changes

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

QRP assessments and assurance of NQRP summaries

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. Not yet validated
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. Not yet validated
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. Not yet validated
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. Not yet validated

Summary of NQRPs for the period 8 May 2015 to 8 June 2017.

View the Regulatory Policy Committee summary (PDF, 308kb, 7 pages)

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