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TPR set to become “tougher regulator”

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its corporate plan setting out how it is taking a clearer, quicker and tougher approach to driving up standards in the pensions sector.


The corporate plan for 2018 – 2021 outlines how TPR will focus on eight key areas of activity:


◦Enhancing and executing effective regulatory approaches across all schemes;

◦Promoting good trusteeship through improving governance and administration;

◦Effective regulation of DB schemes;

◦Effective regulation of master trusts;

◦Ensuring employers meet their ongoing automatic enrolment (AE) duties;

◦Preparing for the impact of Brexit;

◦Equipping its staff to meet the challenges TPR faces;

◦Developing an approach to regulation that focuses on more proactive and targeted work and uses a wider range of regulatory interventions.


TPR’s chairman Mark Boyle said: "The pensions landscape has been changing significantly. We are meeting this challenge by embedding a new regulatory culture and reinforcing our regulatory teams on the frontline.


"In the coming year, you can expect to see us being more vocal about our expectations of those we regulate and intervening quickly and decisively through our wide-ranging regulatory activity and enforcement powers so that workplace pension schemes are run properly and people can save safely for retirement.”


The plan also delivers a significant increase in resources to protect pension savers. TPR plans to spend £4.3m more in 2018/19 than in 2017/18 - an increase of 5.2 percent.


TPR said this will help to crack down on sponsoring employers who are not taking their duties towards their pension schemes seriously, as well as launch a new anti-scams campaign to help prevent savers from being ripped-off.


TPR’s chief executive Lesley Titcomb said: "Our corporate plan sets out how we are becoming a clearer, quicker and tougher regulator. It highlights our wide regulatory remit including ensuring employers meet their workplace pension duties, authorising master trusts, securing funding for defined benefit schemes and a continued commitment to fighting scams.


"By delivering on our eight corporate priorities we will ensure TPR meets the regulatory challenges of the future and will address the biggest risks facing the pensions industry."


TPR said a number of challenges facing the pensions landscape have influenced its priorities, such as Brexit, changing technology and the ageing population.


The regulator is also working with the Financial Conduct Authority to consult stakeholders and other interested parties to understand their views on the biggest current and potential risks, and how TPR should tackle them. The consultation runs until June 19 and is part of a new joint TPR and FCA strategy.

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