Preparing employers for auto-enrolment and developing best practice principles for defined contribution pension schemes top the list of priorities for the Pensions Regulator between now and 2015.
Publishing its sixth corporate plan yesterday, the regulator said it would focus on proportionate regulation by helping the pensions sector to deliver good outcomes for members but also being prepared to use its powers where necessary to protect retirement savings.
As part of this it will continue developing six principles of good design and governance of DC schemes, working with the industry to agree the standards and criteria underpinning them.
It also aims to help defined benefit schemes negotiate the challenging economic environment and to set out a strategy for regulating them in the next scheme funding cycle.
The regulator said it would also continue to focus on schemes' administration by ensuring they have adequate internal controls and measuring the uptake of its record-keeping guidance.
Bill Galvin, chief executive of the Pensions Regulator, emphasised the importance of auto-enrolment in the regulator's plans for the next three years.
'It is difficult to over-estimate the impact of automatic enrolment on the pensions landscape or of the challenging economic environment on DB pension promises,' he said.
'We will be supporting employers in their preparations for automatic enrolment by providing high-quality information and tools, and we'll be working with the pensions sector to increase the likelihood that individuals start saving into pension products that are well-run, durable and offer value for money.
Mr Galvin added that the regulator's work in the DB sector would focus on effective risk management across schemes and sponsors, in particular in relation to 'more challenging' parts of the industry.
It also plans to work with the pensions industry, UK government and European authorities to ensure the UK's position on pensions is recognised in the European Commission's ongoing review of European Union pensions law.