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TPR launches a discussion on its 15-year corporate strategy to protect savers

Ref: PN20-27

Issued: Friday 16 October 2020

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) today announced that protecting the future financial wellbeing of savers will sit at the heart of its work for the next 15 years as it delivers on its statutory objectives.

Reflecting the changing nature of workplace pensions, TPR’s corporate strategy outlines a shift in focus, over time, from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) saving. It also builds on TPR’s transformation to be a clear, quick and tough regulator.

Launching the strategy, Chief Executive Charles Counsell said that while support remains in place for pension schemes and employers in the wake of COVID-19, the future financial wellbeing of savers must underpin its long term and stretching ambition.

Mr Counsell said: “In a rapidly evolving pensions world, it’s vital that as a regulator we anticipate the change that’s coming. That’s why today we’ve outlined our 15-year vision for the future, putting savers at the heart of everything we do as we cement our clearer, quicker and tougher approach.

“We are determined to do all we can to protect pensions savings, drive participation and enhance outcomes now and in the future.

“We will do what is necessary to support the industry through the current crisis and to recover strongly so that savers can enjoy a secure retirement. We are standing up for savers of today and building a system that works for them into the future.”

The strategic priorities

The strategy analyses different groups of savers by generation - Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials - recognising that each group faces different life circumstances and risks in relation to their pensions.

For younger savers automatically enrolled into DC pensions, investment performance, value for money and at-retirement decision-making will play a much greater role in retirement outcomes.

From this analysis five strategic priorities emerge:

  • Security - protecting the money that savers invest in pensions. Maintaining focus on the promises that are made to savers in DB schemes and on protecting their pensions from scammers; over the fifteen-year horizon of the strategy, as assets in DC schemes grow, there will be a shift in primary focus to the security and value that these schemes provide savers.
  • Value for money - savers’ money must be well-invested, costs and charges must be reasonable; and good quality, efficient services and administration are driven by robust data.
  • Scrutiny of decision making - monitoring those who make decisions that impact savers’ outcomes, closely scrutinising any decisions that pose a heightened risk to the quality of these outcomes.
  • Embracing innovation - encourage innovation and good practice, collaborating with the market to enhance security, efficiency, transparency, simplicity, and choice.
  • Bold and innovative regulation - transforming the way TPR regulates to put the saver at the heart of its work, driving participation in pensions saving and enhancing and protecting savers’ outcomes; maintain a sharp focus on bold and innovative regulation, anticipating and preventing issues before they materialise.

The strategy has been published today in the form of a discussion paper and meetings with key stakeholders are planned. The final strategy will be published in the new year when TPR will work closely with the industry to deliver on its priorities. The strategic priorities will form a core part of TPR’s annual three-year corporate planning going forward.

Notes to editors

  1. In a keynote speech later today at the PLSA annual conference, Mr Counsell will say: “Throughout the pandemic there has been intense focus on wellbeing - for some this has been their physical wellbeing, for some their mental wellbeing, while for some it is their immediate financial wellbeing. I believe though that we should add to this the fourth pillar which is their future financial wellbeing.

“Many people are under pressure financially and have had to re-prioritise. But long-term savings are critical, and we are encouraging people to continue to contribute to their pensions where they can afford it.

“In doing so, we must focus on the security of these savings. On the value they deliver. On the decisions people make that affect savers outcomes. On innovation in the marketplace. And on bold and effective regulation. What we do as a regulator - and you in the industry - is more important than ever in these difficult times.

“Our corporate strategy sets a clear vision for our aspirations over the long-term. It explains what we want to achieve: for our savers and for our regulated community. It will help us map and influence the development of the savings landscape over the next 15 years. And it will allow us to forecast and respond to emerging risks and challenges more effectively.”

  1. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

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