Maintaining the fight against pension scams, measuring value for money for savers and helping schemes become ‘dashboard ready’ are among the activities outlined in The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) new corporate plan, published today (13 June 2022).
Over the next two years, TPR will continue to call on schemes to take its pledge to combat pension scams, work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions and Financial Conduct Authority on a future consultation for a Value for Money Framework and assess how smaller defined contribution schemes offer value for money.
Working with partners on the Pensions Dashboards Programme, TPR will also launch a programme of education, highlighting the steps schemes need to take to meet their dashboard duties, including what data to prepare.
The Corporate Plan builds on last year’s three-year plan that outlined TPR’s priorities for 2021 to 2024. It delivers on TPR’s corporate strategy, also published last year, by enhancing and protecting savers’ pensions through five strategic priorities.
TPR will develop its organisational capability with the creation of a Digital, Data and Technology directorate. By being data-led and digitally enabled, TPR will enhance its ability to regulate effectively and efficiently.
TPR plans to launch its second consultation on a new defined benefit funding code this autumn, with the code operational from September 2023. Changes in the new code will be forward-looking, so only schemes with valuation effective dates on or after its commencement date will be affected.
Charles Counsell, TPR’s Chief Executive, said: “Our latest Corporate Plan shows we are well placed to protect savers as the pensions landscape continues to evolve. We can’t predict how the challenges of COVID-19, the conflict in Ukraine, the cost of living and climate change will play out in the long term, but it is vital that we and industry are prepared for heightened volatility.
“In these challenging times, we are committed to helping employers comply with their pension duties and to protect the security of their workplace schemes, and are ready to act if they don’t. We continue to support trustees in the effective running of schemes in savers’ best interests.
“TPR will continue to welcome innovation; we will work with our partners to meet the ambitious pensions dashboards legislative timetable, and will embrace new scheme models while overseeing the regulation of superfunds and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes. We will be assessing CDC schemes for authorisation from August.”
TPR will also maintain its focus on encouraging a more diverse and inclusive pension system. Sarah Smart, TPR Chair, said: “We want to see diverse and inclusive trustee boards making decisions that consider and represent all members. We will publish an action plan setting out how we plan to support the development of more diverse and inclusive boards of trustees and managers.
“We will also be working with government and industry to improve equalities in saving. To this end we support the 2017 Automatic Enrolment Review proposals which aim to open workplace pension saving to more people.”
Today’s new plan also sets out how TPR’s work will be measured. TPR has developed 19 ‘saver outcomes’ that define its ambitions for savers and guide the prioritisation and planning of its work.
TPR will monitor progress in meeting these outcomes through a new set of key outcome indicators and monitor the impact of combined activities using updated key performance indicators.