TPR publishes three-year Corporate Plan

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is seeking to improve accountability, protection and confidence of occupational schemes with its new three-year strategy, it has revealed.

In its Corporate Plan 2019 – 2022 published today, the regulator outlined how it plans to be more proactive and targeted in its approach to thousands of schemes across the defined benefit and defined contribution landscape.

It outlined six priorities to achieve better outcomes for members including more targeted interventions; promoting and enforcing high standards of trusteeship and governance; intervening where necessary with DB schemes and ensures workplace pension schemes can deliver benefits through significant change, such as Brexit.

TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell, said: “We are publishing this plan at a time of great change in both the pensions landscape and the way TPR works.

“By driving up participation in workplace pensions and holding those we regulate to account, we are protecting pension savers and the Pension Protection Fund and increasing confidence in pension saving. We are striving to deliver better retirement outcomes.”

It will be writing to DB schemes, DC schemes and authorised master trusts setting out its expectations.

Furthermore, it will be monitoring thousands of schemes in relation to dividend payments, lengths of recovery plans, and efficient record keeping, while using a “rapid response team” to respond quickly to reports of major restructuring plans.

TPR chairman, Mark Boyle, said: “Trustees, employers and increasingly savers know we are taking a clear, quick and tough approach when holding to account those who fail to do the right thing by their scheme members.

“The past year has seen our first prosecution for fraud, our first custodial sentence, and the courts handing down the largest ever fine following a TPR prosecution. We have also seen a number of high profile cases being resolved, including Southern Water agreeing to pay £50m into its pension scheme under a shortened recovery plan.

“This year our corporate plan goes further to define the key outcomes that we aim to achieve through our work, and how we will evaluate those outcomes to demonstrate the effectiveness of our role.”

It also outlined how it is building on its joint strategy with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with plans to launch a joint review on of the consumer pensions journey, exploring how pension schemes and providers combine guidance and advice services.

TPR said it will continue to work with the Money and Pensions Service on DB to DC transfers to ensure they work effectively for members.

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