Tackling pension scams, measuring value for money for savers, and helping schemes become 'dashboard ready' are the key priorities for the Pensions Regulator (TPR) over the next two years.
This is outlined in its latest corporate plan, with the regulator set to launch a new programme of education highlighting the steps schemes need to take to meet their dashboard duties, including what data to prepare.
TPR will also continue to call on schemes to take its pledge to combat pension scams, and work closely with the government and Financial Conduct Authority on a 'value for money framework' assessing how smaller defined contribution schemes offer value for money.
Furthermore, it plans to launch a second consultation on a new defined benefit funding code this autumn, with the code operational from September 2023. Changes 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 that the corporate plan shows that the regulator is well placed to protect savers as the pensions landscape continues to evolve.
He continued: “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 said that it would continue to welcome innovation and embrace new scheme models while overseeing the regulation of superfunds and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes. It will be assessing CDC schemes for authorisation from August.
It will also publish plans to help develop more diverse and inclusive boards of trustees and manager, and will support the 2017 Automatic Enrolment Review proposals which aim to open workplace pension saving to more people.
Laura McLaren, partner at Hymans Robertson, commented: “TPR’s announcement that it will launch its second consultation on the funding code in the Autumn and clarity that changes won’t apply to valuations before 30 September 2023 is helpful.
“Despite this, however, pension schemes which are due valuations before then will have the challenge of navigating some ongoing regulatory uncertainty.
“This may run the risk of stifling decisive action from trustees and sponsors in the meantime but we’d hope that most schemes already looking ahead to the changes.”
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Author: Chris Seekings