Report shows uptick in TPR activity

The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) latest annual report has highlighted its increase in regulatory activity following its change to a ‘quicker, clearer, tougher’ approach.

Its 2018/19 Annual Report and Accounts showed that the regulators use of frontline powers increased by 32 per cent in the past year, while the number of cases increased by nearly a quarter (24 per cent).

Commenting on the report, TPR chairman, Mark Boyle, said: “A year of growth and change has seen our clearer, quicker, tougher regulatory approach become central to our everyday work and regulatory actions.

“We are already undertaking twice as many proactive interventions thanks to our one-to-one supervision approach. We are supporting the 14 million savers in master trusts as the trusts go through the new authorisation process which we helped to set up.”

There was a 37 per cent increase in the number of fines issued for automatic enrolment non-compliance (49,032), and trustee appointment powers were used 593 times, up by 11 per cent from last year.

Alongside the increased activity, TPR spending for the year also rose, by £1.86m to 85.4m.

However, its grant from the Department for Work and Pensions fell from £84.1m to £83.6m year-on-year, resulting in a balance sheet loss of £6.8m, as of 31 March 2019.

TPR’s report also revealed that the regulator failed to meet 4 of the 22 key performance indicators it set itself.

Of the four missed, two were due to TPR refocusing its resources during the year to new ways of working which resulted in them being replaced with new activity.

The other two missed key performance indicators regarded staff engagement and development and reflects TPR’s significant organisational change. The regulator said that “plans are already in place to address these areas.

TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell, added: “Our new ways of working ensure we have better oversight of those we regulate, improved identification of risks and a sharper focus on how best to use our powers.

“In the past 12 months we have used our new approaches to address, deter and punish inappropriate and dishonest activity. Results include our first prosecution for fraud, our first custodial sentence and the courts handing down the largest ever fine following a TPR prosecution.”

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