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Board Meeting Summary April 2020

A summary of The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) Board meeting in April 2020.

Apologies and welcomes

The Chairman welcomed all those attending the Board meeting which was held via video conference. A particular welcome was given to the two new Non-Executive Directors, Chris Morson and Katie Kapernaros. The Chair wished good health to those present and their friends and families.

No conflicts of interests were declared.

The Chairman’s introduction

The Chair, supported by Charles Counsell, CEO, explained the meeting had been called two weeks into the Government-directed lockdown, to take stock of the current situation and provide some insight into medium-term working risks and mitigations. Emergency management protocols had been triggered calmly and effectively, and the Executive Committee had been meeting daily. TPR had adapted with barely discernible interruption to service. 

Members were updated on internal and external communications during this period which had been well-received by both sets of audiences. The Chair has already written to ExCo, and the Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, to express these thanks.

The CEO offered gratitude to his ExCo colleagues and noted the general sense across the organisation that people are ‘just getting on with it’, as well as looking out for each other. 


The Chair updated members that remote working has been so successful, to date, that significant Governance changes are not currently required and the Board’s role and remit remains unchanged: overseeing and supporting execs while providing constructive challenges.

Communications: internal and external

The Director of Communications briefed the Board that all external communications that do not in some way help our regulatory community through this situation have been deprioritised, and all communications have been aligned with TPR’s priorities. Eight pieces of guidance have been published with good feedback and employer guidance is due to be published this week. Additional work on scams is taking place with MaPS and the FCA.

Key Issues

Members received updates of key issues from the Interim Director of HR, the Executive Director of Strategy & Risk and the Executive Director of Corporate Services and Finance risks and mitigations. Updates included:

Health and safety and productivity

The Interim Director of HR assured members that TPR staff are set up to work safely from home, and HR is working closely with the business to support prioritisation of, and upskilling required to deliver critical work.

Prioritisation of regulatory activity

The Executive Director of Strategy and Risk updated members that seven new priorities have been established: guidance for savers; guidance for trustees; easements on breaches – reporting to TPR; easements on AE breaches – reporting to TPR; administrators; risks of failures to pay benefits; and guidance for employers.

Weekly meetings are being held with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as regular communication with MaPS. 

Systems and projects

The Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services updated members on the management of the move to working from home, and the impact on and further requirements of IT systems and projects.

Any other business

The Chair noted that future Board meetings will be less operational and focus on strategy and planning for the economic impact on schemes for employers.