The Pensions Regulator - Corporate Plan 2019 - 2022
27 June 2019
TPR has published its Corporate Plan for the next three years which includes its priorities amid a time of continuing change both in the pensions landscape and in the way the Regulator is working.
The final increase in automatic enrolment (AE) contributions to 8%, the authorisation of master trusts, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ongoing work resulting from the defined benefit (DB) white paper all create new and diverse challenges for pension schemes, employers and The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
In developing the Corporate Plan TPR has considered the core regulatory risks that pose a significant threat to the achievement of its regulatory outcomes. These are:
- A failure or unmanaged exit of a trust-based scheme, providers or regulated entities.
- Excessive numbers of individuals deciding to opt out or stop saving into pensions.
- DB schemes not being funded to a level to assure that future member benefits will be paid in full.
- Employers being required to fund pension scheme deficits at the expense of investing in the growth of their business.
- Pension schemes or their members becoming victims of fraud.
- Poor governance or trustee decision-making resulting in poor member outcomes or loss of benefits.
- Poor administration resulting in poor member outcomes or loss of benefits.
- Employers seeking to avoid their responsibilities to the pension scheme.
- Savers suffering a loss due to making poor decisions about their pension funds because they were misinformed or uninformed.
- Employers not complying with their duties to provide pensions to their staff.
TPR’s organisational priorities for the next year are based on its analysis of these risks and the likely impact of broader economic and market influences.
The six priorities below reflect the current outlook for the next three years, and if you delve deeper into the Corporate Plan, specific activities are outlined under each priority, which relate to the 2019-2020 financial year.
- Extending its regulatory reach with a wider range of proactive and targeted regulatory interventions
- Providing clarity, promoting and enforcing the high standards expected of trusteeship, governance and administration
- Intervening where necessary so that DB schemes are properly funded to meet their liabilities as they fall due
- Ensuring staff have an opportunity to save into a qualifying workplace pension, through automatic enrolment
- Enabling workplace pensions schemes to deliver their benefits through significant change, including responding to Brexit
- Building a regulator capable of meeting future challenges
TPR will also be working with the DWP, the Money and Pensions Service, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the dashboard delivery group to develop the regulatory framework for effective consumer-facing dashboards. TPR’s record-keeping and data quality initiatives will be vital for the successful introduction of the pensions dashboard.
Thanks to the success of automatic enrolment TPR has already made a lot of progress in protecting the 10 million people either newly saving or saving more. With the increase in contributions, it is more crucial than ever that savers have confidence that their pensions are safe. TPR’s authorisation programme ensures master trusts are run by fit and proper people and have the right systems, processes, plans and finances in place.
TPR’s workforce has face increased pressures and the transformation as a regulator has meant significant changes to what the teams do, as well as how they do it. TPR has stated that it remains committed to the individual personal development of each member of the team to ensure it can do the best job possible on behalf of pension savers.
This year’s Corporate Plan will ensure that TPR builds on the progress made over the last couple of years and will continue to make workplace pensions work while providing value for money for its regulated community.
TPR has pledged to maintain the momentum from the changes in its regulatory approach to ensure that it is clear in its expectations of schemes and trustees, quick to spot and act on issues emerging and tough in its pursuit of those who do not fulfil their duties and obligations.
For full details see TPR’s 2019 - 2022 Corporate Plan.