PA WESTERN CONFERENCE: TPR requests industry feedback on new approaches

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) declared that “feedback is always welcome” from industry members in regard to its regulatory approach.

Speaking at the Pensions Age Great Western Conference, TPR head of regulatory transactions, Jenny Davie stated the regulator’s desire for industry feedback during this “time of great change with us as the regulator”.

Davie highlighted the changing approach from TPR, as they felt that the old mantra of “educate, enable, enforce” had “run its course”.

“What we heard very clearly from people was what has become our new mantra: clearer, quicker, tougher,” she added.

The regulator is especially interested in the industry’s response to its approaches of “fair treatment”, “compliance with the basics” and “high volume directive activity”; initially through low intensity intervention before stepping up the intensity with schemes that they have continuing concerns about.

Davie continued: “This is something we are testing and learning as we go through. We have learned a lot already but there’s still lots and lots to learn.

“We need to do research as we go through this to get that feedback from people that are involved in the process, to see whether or how we need to tweak this, because this is something we are going to ramp up considerably over the next 12-18 months.

“I would ask if you are involved in any of these activities, if you did have any feedback for us, to get in touch. It is very much a test and learn for us so if there is something that could work better then please let us know.”

TPR is attempting to increase engagement with schemes to avoid enforcement and protect scheme members from underperforming boards. In the past couple of weeks, it has sent out letters to a further 50 schemes ahead of their valuations asking how they were focusing on the fair treatment of schemes.

Davie commented: “With this one we are asking trustees to come back to us ahead of their valuation just so we can understand what actions they are taking. We’d rather resolve the situation through engaging with the trustees.

“As a regulator, we have come a long way over the last couple of years as there’s a lot of changes that have happened and there’s a lot more down the track. We are trying it in pockets to see how it works before we then ramp up the volumes, so watch this space for new developments. Feedback is always welcome, if you see things that aren’t working, tell us. We won’t be offended.”

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