THE PENSIONS Regulator (TPR) published its Annual Report and Accounts this week 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.
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.”