Joint committee to call for TPR to be abolished following Carillion failings

Written by Theo Andrew

MPs are expected to call for The Pensions Regulator to be scrapped following its failure to safeguard Carillion pensions during the firm’s collapse, the Telegraph has reported.

A joint inquiry by the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee will see the release of its report on Wednesday, in which it is expected to recommend the abolishment of TPR for a more powerful body which would include the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

In its report, the Telegraph said that Westminster sources believed the Committee’s report will be critical of the regulator and its leadership in the wake of the Carillion disaster.

The regulator came under criticism from trustees for its failure to act, despite the construction firm’s weak financial position and calls from trustees to intervene.

Last week, TPR released its corporate plan for the next three years in anticipation of the Committee’s report, outlining its ambition to become a “strong, agile, fair and efficient” regulator and was widely welcomed by the industry.

However, in March, Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field questioned the leadership of TPR, after chief executive Lesley Titcomb gave evidence to the select committee over Carillion.

Field said that Titcomb and her senior colleagues' performances did not give him assurances that they could achieve the “necessary cultural change” that the regulator needed.

On Carillion’s collapse, on 15 January 2018, its DB pension schemes were carrying an estimated £2.6bn buyout value deficit, while the PPF will pick up 11 out of the outsourcing firm’s 13 pension schemes, with an estimated shortfall of around £900m.

A Committee spokesperson declined to comment before the release of the publication.

TPR have been contacted for comment.

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