The Pensions Regulator (TPR) published its Annual Report and Accounts today showing how it has met ongoing challenges across the pensions landscape by adapting its regulatory approach.
TPR has responded to increased complexity in the pensions landscape, a growth in its remit and ongoing economic and political challenges, by strengthening its resources in its frontline regulatory teams, being clearer about its expectations and through the bolder use of its enforcement powers to act more quickly and decisively.
The Annual Report and Accounts (PDF, 2764kb, 112 pages) shows how TPR has performed across its key regulatory areas.
These include the continued successful implementation of automatic enrolment through targeted communication and guidance for employers, advisers and the public but also the use of its fining powers to ensure employer compliance remains extremely high, with more than eight million members now automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme.
Working with Government on the Pension Schemes Act, TPR will continue to play a key role in protecting members of master trust schemes – used by thousands of employers to meet their pension duties – which has resulted in TPR’s first authorisation and supervisory powers.
In relation to defined benefit schemes, in the last year TPR recovered more than £650 million (including settlements in the BHS and Coats cases) as a result of its case teams’ efforts, taking the total amount recovered through the direct use of its anti-avoidance powers to well over £1 billion.
TPR Chair Mark Boyle, said: “Against the backdrop of continued political and economic uncertainty, we have worked hard to make our expectations clearer to those we regulate, and to act decisively to protect workplace pension savers.
“Our work to deliver pension savings to millions more workers through automatic enrolment, and to protect those in pension schemes by ensuring standards are met, is a highlight of another strong year for TPR.
“We have had success with, and learnt from, some very high profile cases, and we have also started a major internal review of the way we regulate which will deliver new regulatory approaches in line with our growing responsibilities, all of which will ensure we remain fit for purpose for years to come.”
Chief Executive, Lesley Titcomb, said: “This past year has been a challenging one, not least due to the rapidly changing environment in which we operate, but we have shown resilience and an ability to adapt and evolve to protect workplace pensions.
“We will continue to evolve how we work to deliver new sustainable approaches to regulation across DB, DC, public service schemes and in our automatic enrolment responsibilities. We will set clearer expectations of those we regulate and explain the consequences of not meeting these expectations.”
TPR 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).
David MorleyMedia Officer (DB)