TPR’s new DB Funding Code to be operational from September 2023

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will launch a second consultation on the defined benefit (DB) Funding Code in the autumn of this year, with the code to be operational from September 2023.

In its announcement of its new corporate plan, TPR noted that changes in the code will be forward-looking, and therefore only schemes with valuation effective dates on or after its commencement date will be affected.

The regulator’s new two-year corporate plan builds on last year’s three-year plan and aims to maintain the fight against pension scams, measure value for money for savers and help schemes become ‘dashboard ready’.

It hopes to achieve these goals by continuing to call on schemes to take its pledge to combat pension scams, working with the Department for Work and Pensions and Financial Conduct Authority on a future consultation for a value for money framework, and assess how smaller defined contribution schemes offer value for money.

Furthermore, TPR will work with its partners on the Pensions Dashboards Programme, as well as launch a programme of education that will highlight the steps schemes need to take to meet their dashboard duties.

TPR also announced that it will develop its oganisational capability through the creation of a ‘Digital, Data and Technology directorate’.

It hopes that by being data-led and digitally enabled, TPR can enhance its ability to regulate effectively and efficiently.

TPR plans to measure its work through 19 ‘saver outcomes’ that defined its ambitions for savers, and guide the prioritisation and planning of its work.

The regulator will monitor its progress in meeting these outcomes through a new set of key outcome indicators and monitor the impact of combined activities using updated key performance indicators.

“Our latest Corporate Plan shows we are well placed to protect savers as the pensions landscape continues to evolve,” commented TPR chief executive, Charles Cousell.

“We can’t predict how the challenges of Covid-19, the conflict in Ukraine, the cost of living and climate change will play out in the long term, but it is vital that we and industry are prepared for heightened volatility.

“In these challenging times, we are committed to helping employers comply with their pension duties and to protect the security of their workplace schemes, and are ready to act if they don’t. We continue to support trustees in the effective running of schemes in savers’ best interests.

“TPR will continue to welcome innovation; we will work with our partners to meet the ambitious pensions dashboards legislative timetable, and will embrace new scheme models while overseeing the regulation of superfunds and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes. We will be assessing CDC schemes for authorisation from August.”

TPR chair, Sarah Smart, added: “We want to see diverse and inclusive trustee boards making decisions that consider and represent all members. We will publish an action plan setting out how we plan to support the development of more diverse and inclusive boards of trustees and managers.

“We will also be working with government and industry to improve equalities in saving. To this end we support the 2017 Automatic Enrolment Review proposals which aim to open workplace pension saving to more people.”

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