Govt urged to include TPR in review of financial services regulatory framework

The government should examine how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) work together in the regulation of workplace pensions, according to Aegon.

The firm noted that the government’s ongoing consultation into the financial services regulatory framework had made no mention of TPR, arguing that there was a “significant overlap” between the two organisations when it came to workplace pension regulation and that greater alignment could “benefit members, providers and schemes”.

Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron, commented: “While TPR is accountable to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rather than the Treasury, and largely enforces DWP workplace pensions rules, we believe there would be benefits in reconsidering how FCA and TPR work together in the regulation of workplace pensions.”

He added that, while TPR had “some responsibilities which are quite different from the FCA’s remit”, there were “growing synergies between how the two regulators work”.

Cameron continued: “We believe there is considerable scope to align regulatory approaches and avoid slightly different rules, introduced at different times, with identical objectives, between contract and trust-based pensions. One example here is the requirements on disclosure of costs and charges.

“The current approach of two very similar but slightly different sets of rules is costly for schemes and providers to implement and confusing for individuals who may over their working lives be members of both contract and trust-based pension schemes.

“The FCA and TPR have been working more closely together in recent years, but this review of the regulatory framework offers an opportunity to look afresh at the art of the possible.”

The latest phase of the HM Treasury Consultation Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review, which is intended to examine how the new landscape has changed now that the UK has left the EU, closes today (19 February).

The government has stated that the key aim of the consultation “is to achieve an agile and coherent approach to financial services regulation in the UK, with appropriate democratic policy input to support a stable, innovative and world leading financial services sector”.

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