TPR aims to boost pension scheme boards' diversity

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has outlined plans to increase the diversity of pension scheme boards in its newly published Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

The regulator said it intended to work with and influence the governing bodies that manage workplace schemes, providing positive support and encouragement to help them become more diverse and inclusive in their decision-making.

TPR added that it was working with fellow regulators to explore how to have a positive impact across the financial sector and learn from others who are seeking to further equality, diversity and inclusion within their own areas.

Other specific aims within TPR’s strategy, which was developed in discussion with organisations across the pensions industry, included increasing the number of women working in technical roles, reducing the pay gap for ethnic minority and LGBT+ employees, and increasing ethnic minority and LGBT+ representation across its senior leadership team to at least 15 per cent over the next two years.

The broader objectives of the strategy are to be a fair, diverse and inclusive employer, to build a collective understanding of why pensions inequalities occur and work in partnership with others seeking to reduce them and to promote higher standards of equality, diversity and inclusion among the regulated community.

TPR, board chair, Sarah Smart, said: “Now more than ever, organisations and employers are being called on to take a lead in bringing about a fairer and more inclusive society. Through our strategy, we are clear on our ambition for positive and lasting changes across our own organisation, and the industry we regulate, to drive down inequality among savers.

“The status quo is not acceptable and it is crucial we continue to challenge ourselves so that diversity and inclusion are not simply seen as desirable but that they are embedded across everything we do.”

She also called for the pensions industry “to work with us and work together to bring real improvements in diversity”, adding that this would “improve the quality of decisions” and ensure that trustee boards better reflect the diversity of savers.

TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell, said: “It is only right that all organisations examine the impact they have and ensure they are fair and inclusive in the way they operate and the way they look after the people that work for them.

“As the UK regulator of workplace pensions and as an employer, TPR has been on this journey for some time – but we know there is much more to do.

“We have been clear in our Corporate Strategy that we want all savers to get good value for their money, that decisions made on behalf of savers are scrutinised, and we are a bold and effective regulator. Improving diversity and inclusion is fundamental to these goals. When we say we will put the saver at the heart of what we do, that means all savers. No-one should be left behind.”

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