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Board meeting summary June 2020

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

Apologies and welcomes

The Chairman welcomed all those attending, including Sara Protheroe, Chief Customer Officer of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and (for part of the meeting) Sir Hector Sants, the Chair of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). There were no apologies, and no conflicts of interest were declared.

The Chair’s update

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recruitment team has now agreed extensions to the contracts of David Martin, Kirstin Baker and Robert Herga.

To include the impact of Covid-19 on the organisation and wider pensions landscape, the publication of the Corporate Plan in March has been paused, with a publication date scheduled for the end of June 2020.

CEO report

Easements: new guidance has been published with respect to all easements which keeps the majority in place for three months. However, most reporting easements will be stood down in July.

Superfunds: TPR has agreement from the DWP and Treasury Ministers to publish details of the interim regulatory regime for Superfunds, while waiting for government legislation on a permanent regime. A press release was due to be issued under embargo to 18 June.

Administration risk: administrators have responded well during Covid-19 and the administration risk has reduced from red to amber based on access to more information. A risk management plan is in action.

Insolvency Bill: TPR is working with the PPF and DWP to address any potential risks to schemes. Amendments to the bill are due to be tabled on 18 June 2020.

The CEO, the Director of Communications and the Executive Director, Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, appeared before the Work and Pensions Select Committee on 21 June 2020. A briefing session on TPR’s response to Covid-19 is scheduled to brief a group of peers.

Update on the work of the Money and Pensions Service

Sir Hector Sants briefed the Board on the work of MaPS both in response to Covid-19 and more broadly.

Annual report and accounts (ARA) 2020 / 2021

The Board approved the ARA 2019 / 2020 pending any minor alterations and agreed to delegate authority for final sign-off to the CEO and Chair. The final version of the ARA will return to DWP for laying in Parliament expected on 16 July 2020.

Bi-annual report of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC)

The work of ARAC over the past six months has included a focus on IT and project work. The Board is grateful for the addition of NEDs Chris Morson and Katie Kapernaros who have particular expertise in IT risk. Chris Morson is now a member of ARAC.

Stakeholders’ perceptions survey

The anonymous survey was carried out between January and March 2020. Its objective was to gain insight into stakeholder perceptions of TPR’s performance and our priority to extend our regulatory reach. The findings present a positive picture overall. TPR continues to have a strong reputation and is seen as being in a stronger place than in 2018.

The next survey is expected to be in approximately 18 months; an additional survey on TPR’s response to Covid-19 is under consideration.