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Pensions industry rates regulator's performance

Ref: PN15-35
Tuesday 28 July 2015

The performance of The Pensions Regulator has been rated ‘very good’ or ‘good’ by nearly 80% of respondents to its latest perceptions report.

The eleventh annual perceptions tracker report published today reflects how the pensions industry rates the regulator on how well it carries out its statutory objectives. The regulator continues to receive positive feedback for the third year running.

This year respondents were asked in greater depth about their awareness of pension scams with more than 8 in 10 (85%) agreeing they understood what action was needed if they suspected a pension scam while 88% were confident the trustee board knew what action should be taken.

Pensions savers’ awareness of scams is still low, with 13% saying they are unaware of scams completely, so the regulator continues to urge trustees to communicate about pension scams to their members.

Other key findings include:

  • Around 8 in 10 of external audiences (78%) rated the regulator’s performance as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
  • Around three-quarters (75%) of employers rated the regulator’s performance as ‘very good’ or ‘good’, compared to just over half (52%) in 2014.
  • The regulator has continued to exceed its target of over 70% average agreement with the ‘PACTT* Better Regulation’ principles with an average rating of 72% in 2015.
  • 91% agree that the regulator is a ‘trusted source of information’.
  • 72% believe the regulator is 'approachable', up from 65% last year.

New questions were included relating to the regulator’s statutory objective to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer. Almost two thirds (65%) agreed that ‘the regulator takes into account the needs of the scheme and the employer in a balanced way’ and around three quarters (76%) agreed that ‘the regulator supports schemes to have a strong and ongoing employer’.

The Chief Executive of The Pensions Regulator, Lesley Titcomb, said:

“It is encouraging that the report notes the industry continues to rate us highly. It’s particularly welcome that awareness of scams is high, but we won’t let up in our focus in this area and continue to fight against the scammers.

“I am also pleased that 81% of employers believe we are effective in maximising compliance with their automatic enrolment duties, and we are committed to engaging even more effectively with those who most need to hear our messages.

“Automatic enrolment has been rolled out successfully to large and medium employers and more than five million workers have been automatically enrolled, but big challenges still lie ahead with small and micro employers approaching their staging dates.”

Editor's notes

  1. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).
  2. The research was undertaken on behalf of the regulator by IFF Research, an independent market research organisation.
  3. The sample was made up of 11 audiences, categorised at the highest level into in-house and external audiences. The main units of analysis were the following audience groups: lay trustees, employers, pension professionals and non-pension professionals as well as whether schemes were being used for automatic enrolment or not.
  4. The research comprised a quantitative telephone survey of 563 respondents, interviewed from 5 to 31 August 2014 (wave one) and 4 March to 9 April 2015 (wave two).
  5. *PACTT stands for ‘Proportionate’, ‘Accountable’, ‘Consistent’, ‘Transparent’ and ‘Targeted’. The principles were first set out in the 2005 Hampton review. The principles and recommendations of the Hampton Review were set in on law in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. All policies and procedures developed by the regulator have followed the principles of better regulation as laid out in the Hampton Review, the Regulatory Act and the subsequent Regulators’ Compliance Code. The Regulator’s Code was published in 2014 to replace the previous Regulators’ Compliance Code. Regulators must have regard for the Code when developing policies or procedures and when setting standards or giving guidance which will guide the regulatory activities of other regulators.

Press contacts

Tim Marks 01273 662092