Guest comment: Regulatory changes

2020 will be another fast-moving year of change, full of positive opportunities and challenges we must all strive to meet.

I began the year welcoming the re-introduction of the Pension Schemes Bill. The bill will give us the power to set and enforce clearer scheme funding standards in defined benefit (DB) schemes, while providing early warning of potential problems.

Where problems arise, new criminal sanctions and civil fines will act as a strong deterrent against risky and reckless behaviour.

This month, we plan to publish our response to the consultation on the Future of Trusteeship and Governance.

I’m pleased that feedback to the consultation shows there is support for our vision of all savers being in schemes that have excellent standards of governance that deliver good value.

There is also support for our desire to consolidate underperforming small and micro DC schemes.

In March, we plan to consult on a revised DB funding code to introduce clearer funding standards, supported by the changes to legislation.

The new code will focus on the importance of schemes taking a long-term view and managing risks appropriately.

The flexibilities in our regime will continue to help trustees and employers balance the need to pay promised benefits against the employer’s ability to run and grow their business.

I urge everyone with an interest in DB pensions to share their views with us.

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