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Update about TPR activities during COVID-19

Originally published: 20 March 2020

Updated: 22 June 2021

  • 22 June 2021: Minor update to Relationship supervision section
  • 8 June 2021: Updates to the Regulatory initiatives, Relationship Supervision and Events sections
  • 2 July 2020: Added the latest information on our supervision activities. Removed reference to the Corporate Plan being postponed
  • 24 September 2020: Added updates to the Relationship Supervision section
  • 26 January 2021: Further updates to the Relationship Supervision section

Supervision

Regulatory initiatives

We temporarily suspended our regulatory initiatives in March 2020 but will be restarting them later this year and will be in touch with trustees or managers of selected schemes in due course.

Relationship Supervision

We scaled down our relationship supervision programme throughout the pandemic to allow us to focus our efforts on supporting schemes and employers experiencing financial distress.

The pensions landscape has shifted since March 2020, and we are refocusing our supervisory regime accordingly. As the schemes we currently supervise are all at different points on our supervisory cycle, we will contact them individually to determine the next steps.

We will also build new relationships with schemes of interest where we can make a difference to the outcome for savers and will be in touch with trustees or scheme managers in the coming weeks.

We supervise authorised master trusts to ensure we remain satisfied that over time they continue to meet the authorisation criteria. We develop open and honest relationships throughout our supervisory cycle to help maintain a two-way channel of information sharing and to enable us to intervene where material risks and issues are identified. This supervisory activity helps to improve the standards in how workplace pensions are managed and better protects workplace savers.

Also, as part of our Corporate Strategy, we are increasing our engagement with pension scheme administrators who play a critical role in ensuring good outcomes for savers, and in securing confidence in the pensions system. Although we do not regulate administrators directly, we are developing strong and open relationships with the largest and most strategically important ones. This enables us to gain a better understanding of the sector, identify areas where change would improve saver outcomes and ultimately raise standards within the industry.

The market for superfunds, generic consolidation vehicles and other business models facilitating risk-transfer is developing rapidly. We have an assessment framework which sets out the standards we expect to be met. We will continue to engage with prospective superfunds to outline these standards and to also better develop our understanding of the market.

The safety of our colleagues and those we engage with is a priority for The Pensions Regulator (TPR), so we intend to only return to attending meetings in person when government guidance allows, and where we can see a clear benefit of meeting face to face rather than virtually.

More about our supervision activities.

Events

All scheduled in-person events during the last year have been held online via webinars or virtual round table events. We will continue to provide digital events for the foreseeable future until it is safe to go back into venues.