TPR secures additional £7.6m of levy funding from DWP

The Pensions Regulator has secured an additional £7.6m of levy funding from the Department for Work and Pensions for the 2019/2020 tax year, it has revealed.

Publishing its Corporate Plan for 2019-2022, the regulator said £1.2m of this will be used to fund the scam awareness campaign, £1.3m to support ongoing work in respect of the pension bill, £0.4m to support policy work in relation to the pension dashboard, and £1.8m for the additional employer contributions to reflect increased contribution rates.

The remaining balance is to fund increased costs in relation to overall growth of TPR, which includes increased capability for information technology, transformation and governance.
The regulator’s funding is derived from two main sources: a grant-in-aid from the DWP, which is recoverable from a scheme levy relating to Pensions Act 2004 duties, and a separate grant-in-aid from general taxation relating to the auto-enrolment programme arising from Pensions Act 2008 duties.

The regulator’s total spend in 2018-2019 was £85.7m, which is £3m below the original budget agreed with the DWP. However, the regulator estimates the total spend for 2019-20 will be just under £100m.

It said the main reasons for the increase are due to an additional £5.9m increase in staff costs due to growth in full time employed staff, primarily as a result of implementing its new operating model, together with the introduction of the master trust authorisation regime. It also reflects the increase in employer pension contributions for TPR as an employer from April 2019.

Furthermore, the regulator also plans to spend an additional £3.3m on managed contracts due to costs in relation to the auto-enrolment regime and increase in support contracts to reflect organisational growth. It estimates it will spend an extra £2m in accommodation and general costs from technology investments in new systems and the overall growth in TPR.

The budget also includes £1.3m put aside for consultancy/professional services to reflect expected case costs due to new regulatory approach and delivery of projects, and has put £0.8m aside for smaller increases across other cost areas.

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