TPR to conduct organisational changes amid ‘strategic shift’ in pensions oversight

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced that it is making organisational changes as part of its 'strategic shift' in the way it oversees the occupational pensions market.

TPR said the evolving pensions landscape towards fewer, larger schemes presented different risks and opportunities for savers and the economy, and it was looking to take steps to provide good outcomes for pensionholders while “strengthening its regulatory grip” amid a new regulatory environment.

The strategic shift will mean that TPR will engage differently with the market and involves the creation of three new regulatory functions: Regulatory compliance; market oversight; and strategy, policy and analysis, from April 2024.

The regulatory compliance function will aim to protect pensionholders’ interests through the effective and efficient delivery of regulatory compliance services, which will target schemes and employers.

Market oversight will involve strategic engagement with schemes and those who influence saver outcomes to help enhance the workplace pensions market, with a “strong focus” on delivering value for money and trusteeship.

Finally, its strategic, policy and analysis regulatory function will seek to use insights from TPR’s regulatory approach and other sources to evolve the regulatory framework and support market innovation that is in savers’ best interests.

These functions, which will result in TPR recruiting for three new executive director roles, will be “supported and enabled” by essential functions: Operations; digital; data and technology; and people.

Furthermore, from April, most functions in TPR’s frontline regulation directorate will move to the new regulatory compliance directorate, alongside the regulator’s auto-enrolment team.

TPR’s supervision team and its communications function will move to the new market oversight directorate.

“We are moving from a fragmented pensions landscape of thousands of small schemes to an environment of fewer, larger schemes,” commented TPR chair, Sarah Smart.

“That means we need to change our regulatory approach to protect savers in the future. The market should expect us to engage with it differently from now on.

“Our new structure means we will be swifter to address compliance failures and market-wide risks while being more dynamic in our industry engagement and bringing innovation to the fore.”

TPR chief executive, Nausicaa Delfas, added: “We have to make sure that workplace pensions work for savers. Our organisational changes are about bringing our talented and capable colleagues together to protect, enhance and innovate in savers’ interests.”

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