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Board meeting summary July 2019

A summary of The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) Board meeting in July 2019.

Apologies and welcomes

Mark Boyle welcomed all those attending including Andy McKinnon, Chief Financial Officer of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Apologies had been received from Kirstin Baker who had sent comments on the papers to the Chairman.

Matters arising

The Chairman thanked Non-Executive Director, Tilly Ross, for co-ordinating the Non-Executive Director briefing on Customer Support.

Members were updated on the ongoing Non-Executive Director recruitment process.

Proposed changes to Audit and Risk Assurance and Remuneration Committee reporting arrangements were highlighted.

CEO’s report

The Chief executive Officer (CEO) presented his report to members.

Members were updated on a recent case, the Executive Committee offsite away day, changes in the circumstances in which fraud compensation would be paid from the Pension Protection Fund's (PPF) Fraud Compensation Fund, and the scheduled July publication date for TPR’s annual report.

The Board was told that the Court had awarded 95% of TPR’s costs against the target in the Box Clever case and denied it permission to appeal. However, an application to appeal had been made to the Supreme Court.

The Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice confirmed that in the context of Brexit TPR had agreed and communicated the UK approach in relation to Pensions Stress Tests to EIOPA.

TPR / FCA Joint Strategy and Joint Thematic Reviews on VFM and Member Journeys

Jo Hill updated the Board on the TPR / FCA joint strategy and the current joint thematic review work on Value for Money (VFM) and member journeys. A joint event will be held with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the autumn.

TPR strategy development

The Board was updated on development of the TPR strategy since the May Board away day, which had included extensive staff consultation.

Non-Executive Directors were asked to comment on the proposed framework and were invited to participate in focus groups to feed into further Executive Committee (ExCo) consideration of the strategy. Members expressed support for the proposed direction of travel. The next iteration of the strategy will be discussed at the November Board away day.

Members discussed the proposed framework and TPR’s strategy, including consideration of the Regulatory Futures Review findings and the potential impact of the spending review. Members noted the intention to take soundings from partners such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), FCA and Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) prior to wider external stakeholder consultation.

TPRF progress update

Members were updated that the programme is now 15 months into the 18 month implementation phase. Most technology aspects of the project have now been moved to the Systems to Support Regulatory Activities (SSRA) programme, and changes delivered into the business by TPR Future (TPRF) will continue to develop and evolve.

A small team will continue to support the transition to the new ways of working for six months after the end of the project.

Members discussed the update. There will be a final TPRF report to the Board in December.

Board Risk Review

Board members received a TPR risk profile update. The Chairman asked that the Board be kept informed of the evolving approach to risk management.

Spending Review 2019

TPR had provided modelling to DWP’s partnership team. A letter would be submitted to the Minister within a week and the submission would be made to the DWP through normal channels. Members discussed TPR’s submission and suggested additional detail to be included in any further iteration of the submission.

The Chairman confirmed the Board’s agreement with the proposed approach.

HR Update

The Director of HR highlighted the focus of the 2018/19 Operational Plan for HR on significant organisational change programmes.

Members discussed the update and the Chairman recorded his and the Board’s thanks to the Director of HR at her last TPR Board meeting before retirement. The Remuneration Committee chair also thanked the Director of HR on behalf of the Committee.

Change to regulatory delegations

The Executive Director for Front Line Regulation presented a request for a change to the regulatory delegations to enable the Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) to make decisions in respect of new Master Trust authorisations and the issue of Warning Notices.

Created as part of TPRF, the purpose and membership of the RDC were outlined to Board members, who noted the committee has proved effective in providing different perspectives on decisions.

Members approved the proposed change to regulatory delegations.

Board Governance – Board Forward Plan and Skills Matrix

Members discussed the initial analysis of the Board Skills Matrix noting the broad range of skills and experience, and that it supports the Board Effectiveness Review suggestion that TPR might consider increasing the Board’s expertise and experience in digital, data and IT. It also highlights people / culture change.

The Board Skills Matrix will be reviewed annually by the Remuneration Committee.