TPR should be given rule making powers – Tailored Review

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) should be given their own rule making powers for specific circumstances, akin to powers already held by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it has been suggested.

Further to rule making capabilities, TPR should strengthen its information sharing capabilities and be “proactively monitoring” its joint strategy with the FCA to ensure it can “better achieve its goal of being clearer, quicker and tougher”.

The recommendations were made in a Tailored Review of TPR, a periodic assessment of the efficiency and good governance of public bodies, led by Pensions Wise chief officer, Jamey Johnson.

Johnson said: “TPR could benefit from being able to respond more quickly to risks and changes in the pensions sector. Currently, changes to how TPR conducts its regulatory functions require legislative changes.

“This would also put TPR more in line with the FCA in terms of powers. This would aid TPR’s strength as a regulator and potentially resolve public confusion over the extent of TPR’s powers. The main benefits of this would be increased effectiveness, as TPR would be better able to respond to emerging risks.”

Despite this, Johnson suggested that it could lead to a perception of lessening TPR’s government accountability.

The review was conducted by between August and November 2018, collecting evidence from TPR and the Department for Work and Pensions on the growing role of the regulator.

It looked into a number of areas, including governance, operational effectiveness, organisational effectiveness, efficiency and its relationship with the department for work and pensions.

Other key recommendations include adding a board member with digital transformation experience, as well as strengthening its relationship with the DWP.

It was also suggested that the regulator streamline its internal governance structures and improve its data gathering methods to decrease the regulatory burden on schemes and employers.

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