Guest comment: Increased TPR engagement well received by schemes

Our transformation into a clearer, quicker and tougher regulator began in 2017.

We are now at a point where we can see the impact this work is having, and the signs are positive.

We are proactively supervising significantly more schemes, including targeting hundreds more schemes through new initiatives across a broad range of areas.

Our latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin highlights an example of a scheme that has been through the process of ‘relationship supervision’.

Initially, the chair of trustees and pensions director of the scheme were wary when they were selected for supervision.

It is an attitude we have heard from some schemes concerned about the scrutiny, control and additional workload it may bring. But they have since told us that it has been a positive learning experience.

We found that the DC scheme was well run, however we were able to offer a different view on a number of issues, such as suggesting succession planning for the chair of trustees.

We will give clear direction about the standards that schemes are expected to meet and what the consequences of failing to meet those standards could be.

We have used more of our powers, more often, but we are not an enforcement-led regulator.

We would much rather those we regulate worked within the law, within our guidelines and with us.

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