TPR confirms diversity working group initiatives

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed the creation of an industry working group focused on diversity, revealing the starter ‘products’ or initiatives to be led by the working group.

Speaking at the Pensions Age DB Forum, held in association with Mercer, TPR lead investment consultant, Fred Berry, confirmed that the group would be producing a number of 'products' or initiatives.

The first initiative for the new working group would be to decide on “an agreed definition of what exactly we mean by diversity and inclusion, and especially in a pensions context”, he stated.

Furthermore, next steps for the group are expected to be establishing “good and best practice” in this area, with a specific focus on board composition.

This aims to help “trustees make sure that the range of different modes of thought and backgrounds are reflected on trustee boards,” Berry explained.

The regulator has also confirmed plans to engage directly with employees and employers to encourage trusteeship as a part of overall professional development.

“We are also going to look at two other angles of this,” Berry stated, “producing materials to encourage potential trustees to put themselves forward into what some of them may think is an intimidating, 'not like us' environment.

“And also producing material aimed at employers, to encourage employers to look at trusteeship as a useful part of an employee’s personal management development."

“I think anyone whose been a trustee for a length of time would appreciate what a great experience it is, and complementary and useful in the day job,” he added.

Berry also emphasised that the regulator's commitment to encouraging further diversity in the industry, stating: “Diversity and inclusion are hugely important matters for us at the regulator.

“We are very firmly of the belief, backed by evidence, that the more diverse a decision-making body is, the more inclusive it is of different backgrounds - that leads to better decision making, and better decision making leads to better outcomes for savers.”

He concluded: “Better outcomes for savers is the endgame for all this.”

Pensions Age understands that the regulator has already begun forming the working group.

TPR confirmed plans to form an industry working group in its response to the Future of Trusteeship and Governance consultation, published earlier this week.

Speaking at the conference, Berry also announced an expected consultation on the updated Code of Practice on Trustee Knowledge and Understanding for early 2021.

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