TPR outlines action plan following Rookes' review into BSPS

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has said it is in discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about implementing legislative changes, as part of its response into the Caroline Rookes review into communications provided to British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members.

In light of the review, the regulator said that it will be simplifying member choices in the event of sponsor restructuring, and hoped to gain powers allowing it to delay or stop consultation “if trustees are not prepared”.

In January, former Money Advice Service CEO, Caroline Rookes, outlined a series of recommendations to improve the restructuring process, stating that the mere fact of giving so many members a choice led to a very complex and for some overwhelming situation which caused stress and uncertainty as well as potential financial loss".

According to its Action plan, it is aiming for a delivery date of July 2019 for the changes.

The plan outlines TPR’s approach to early intervention and intelligence sharing, which will see TPR, the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) and Maps meet for quarterly meetings to share intelligence on issues and pressures. It has invited the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to join the group.

TPR added that it will consider, along with the DWP, a new duty for trustees of defined benefit schemes to communicate more effectively with members, which will be incorporated into its new DB funding code expected in July 2019.

Furthermore, the regulator outlined a number of actions related to its drive to improve its online guidance for trustees and to better link up with the FCA, PPF and Maps, with phase one expected in September.

In the review, Rookes recommended that TPR and the DWP discuss whether allowing a partial default into a new scheme or setting requirements for a new scheme to be distinguishable from the PPF would simplify the restructuring choices.

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