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Board meeting summary July 2020

A summary of The Pensions Regulator (TPR) Board meeting in July 2020.

Apologies and welcomes

The Chair welcomed all those attending including the Chief Risk Officer of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Apologies have been received from Andrew Long, the Chair of the Determinations Panel, and Anthony Raymond, the General Counsel and Director of Legal.

Where received, the response to the request for comment on the mechanics and administration of virtual Board meetings has been positive. The Chair welcomed further feedback.

The Chair’s updates

The Covid-19 Board sub-group met in July to discuss three main areas: stopped and ongoing workstreams; the approach to the relaunch of the TPR Corporate strategy (scheduled for the September Board); and macro-economic scenarios.

The Chair had recently attended the Employee Forum, chaired by the Executive Director of Frontline Regulation standing in for the Director of Communications.

CEO’s report

Charles Counsell, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), introduced the paper and updated members on TPR’s key work and achievements since the last Board meeting. The update focused on five items: external communications, Superfunds, prioritisation, easements, and the Pension Schemes Bill.

External communications: It has been a busy month for TPR externally. Communications have included the publication of updated guidance on all easements, the publication of the interim regime on Superfunds, and the publication of the Corporate Plan.

Superfunds: On 18 June, TPR published guidance on how Superfunds and consolidation vehicles will be assessed and regulated under the interim regime. This launch was accompanied by significant communications and stakeholder engagement.

Prioritisation: The seven short-term workstreams set up at the onset of Covid-19 have all been closed. Some residual activity is being taken forward elsewhere.
Easements: On 15 June 2020, TPR published updated guidance on Automatic Enrolment (AE) that sets out how employers should deal with AE as the Job Retention Scheme changes over the summer.

Pensions Schemes Bill: The Bill’s third reading is scheduled for 15 July 2020; the Board will be updated in due course.

Six monthly TPR risk overview

TPR has experienced unprecedented levels of change over the past two quarters. Risk is usually reported by exception but following Covid-19 and the impending economic downturn, most risks have been re-evaluated. As a result, the overall risk picture is much more outward looking.

External risk reporting framework update

The Board was updated that the interim Defined Benefit (DB) schemes report has been provided, whilst the new external risk framework is agreed. There are seven additions: the vast majority of these schemes have long-term engagement with FLR.

IT resource plan

The paper addresses the key IT resource requirements, risks and mitigations across all programmes for the next two to three years.

TOM 21 full business base

The Director of AE gave an overview of changes since the last iteration of the business case in February.

Routine business

The items were introduced by the Chair and the papers were taken as read.