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New plan outlines how TPR will protect millions of savers as UK recovers from pandemic

Ref: PN21-14

Issued: Wednesday 19 May 2021

Implementing the Pension Schemes Act, combatting scams and developing a framework for measuring value for money are three of The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) priorities for the next three years as it continues to respond to economic uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic.

These activities and others are outlined in TPR’s new three-year Corporate Plan, published today.

The plan shows how the regulator will deliver against all five priorities in its recently published long-term Corporate Strategy which sets out its blueprint for the future of pension regulation to put the saver at the heart of its work.

TPR Chief Executive, Charles Counsell, said: “Following a challenging year, our Corporate Plan sets out our priorities for the next three years as we work to support scheme trustees, employers and savers in the recovery from the pandemic. The plan reflects the commitments made in our long-term strategy and builds on the work we have done in recent years to be a clear, quick and tough regulator.

“The landscape ahead is both exciting and challenging and we are determined to embrace ever more change: from the ongoing shift to defined contribution (DC) saving and market consolidation to the emergence of new technologies and the impact of climate change on trustee and employer decision making.”

The plan also tells the industry how TPR’s work will be measured. For the year ahead, TPR has set itself 15 key performance indicators that are a mixture of quantitative based, milestone and progress-based measures. Activity is aligned to TPR’s five new strategic priorities, which look at security, value for money, scrutiny of decision making, embracing innovation and bold and effective regulation.

TPR Chair Sarah Smart said: “We want to enhance and protect all savers’ pensions and in the current climate it is more important than ever we remain efficient, risk-based and proportionate in the work we do.

“The Pension Schemes Act 2021 has given us more powers and so we expect to face some difficult prioritisation decisions about where to focus our resource, based on our ambition to reduce risk to savers and given our funding is more constrained. However, by being flexible, realistic and clear about what we can and should achieve, we will adapt to ensure we meet our goal to protect savers and make workplace pensions work for savers.”

Notes for editors

  1. In March TPR published a 15-year Corporate Strategy setting five strategic priorities which will be its future focus:
    1. 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, ensuring the security of savings in these schemes will also be a key focus.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Embracing innovation - encourage innovation and good practice, collaborating with the market to enhance security, efficiency, transparency, simplicity, and choice.
    5. Bold and effective 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.
  2. Value for money is one of two priority areas in our joint strategy with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published in October 2018. We will be using our powers to help drive value for money for savers and this includes setting and enforcing clear standards and principles where relevant. We will publish a joint discussion paper with the FCA and work to progress to a consultation.
  3. 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).

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Media Officer (DB)
01273 662091

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

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