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Board meeting summary May 2021

A summary of The Pensions Regulator (TPR) Board meeting in May 2021.

Apologies and welcomes

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

The Board was provided in advance with notice of an oral case update and declarations were received from two members. Both would recuse themselves at the relevant item.

Review of the Board Code of Conduct register of interests process

The Board received a review of the Code of Conduct and associated guidance in respect of the Board Register of Interests, which had been informed by questions raised by the Work and Pensions Select Committee, and which proposed: inclusion on the Register of information on interests of connected persons; stopping collection and retention of irrelevant information; simplification of language; and publication of the Register in its entirety (with exceptional individual exemptions considered by exception on a case-by-case basis).

The Board agreed the recommendations, subject to incorporation of clarificatory suggestions. The updated guidance would be sent to Board for approval via email, and the Board would be asked to update their declarations at the same time.

The Chair’s update

The Chair noted that her appointment as permanent Chair from 1 June 2021 had been formally agreed and announced by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Chair had asked Kirstin Baker to be the new Senior Independent Director, Christopher Morson to take on the role of Chair of ARAC, and Katie Kapernaros to join ARAC for the coming year initially; she was delighted to confirm their acceptance. The DWP had confirmed it was happy with the remaining level of financial and accountancy expertise on ARAC, and letters to confirm these appointments were in train.

The Non-Executive Committee (NEC) and informal meetings held the previous day had included helpful discussions on succession planning for the Executive team, and on the skills and experience required for the upcoming NED recruitment campaign.

CEO report

Paula Harris had been appointed as Director of People and Culture.

Recent discussions with DWP around the go-live date for Collective defined contributions (CDCs) were noted and DWP would decide on an appropriate commencement date, informed by us and developments throughout the year.

The Board received an update on financial returns that had been requested by DWP, including the spending review, where a return would likely be required before July, and on an HMT-led savings and efficiency review.

The Board was updated on the main areas of stakeholder concern around criminal powers and the single modular code.

The Board received an oral case update. A NED was appointed as the point of contact for the case.

Draft annual report and accounts 2020/2021

The Board received a draft version; the accounts were currently being audited. The Board was asked for its comments to inform the final version which would be brought to the June Board, for publication in July.

Master Trusts (MT) update

The Board received an update on the benefits that the defined contribution (DC) MT/supervisions regime had brought since authorisation and how it had worked during the pandemic.

Superfund regime update oral report

The Board received an update on the position.