Guest Comment: TPR's tougher approach with trustees

We are taking a new approach with trustees who do not engage with us and fail to realise they are not meeting standards of governance or administration that we expect.

Trustees are being contacted about their legal duties in specific areas. We will support them to become compliant where we can and inform them about the alternatives – including winding up their scheme.

Default investment funds is one area of focus for us. Ninety-five per cent of members are saving into these arrangements so it’s important that trustees are running them properly. That includes reviewing the pension scheme’s default strategy and the performance of the default arrangement every three years, in line with the law.

We are also looking at other areas – the balance between deficit repayment contributions and dividend payments, as well as record keeping – whether schemes are calculating the data scores, which indicate how accurate their data is about their members.

Through this new approach we will be proactively contacting more than 1,000 schemes a year. This will allow us to understand and address the impact of poor governance on savers and influence behaviours across a much broader group of schemes.

As this work progresses, we and trustees will be in a better position to protect savers and their retirement outcomes.

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