Earlier this week, the Pensions Regulator (“tPR“) published a strategy paper (“Corporate Plan“) outlining that its focus for the 2020-2021 financial year would be protecting long-term savers.
The Corporate Plan has been “radically” rethought and adjusted to reflect the realities of how the pensions’ landscape has changed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Corporate Plan outlines tPR’s six objectives:
- to protect the benefits of members of occupational pension schemes;
- to protect the benefits of members of personal pension schemes where direct payment arrangements are in place;
- to promote and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes;
- to reduce the risk of situations arising which may lead to compensation being payable from the PPF;
- to maximise employer compliance and employer duties and the employment safeguards introduced by the Pensions Act 2008; and
- in relation to DB scheme funding, to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer.
tPR had intended to announce new regulatory initiatives, to continue to extend its “regulatory grip“, but it paused the launch of that plan and focussed on its longer-term ambitions such as extending its supervision approach on more schemes.
The Corporate Plan highlights that tPR will be keeping its support of workplace pensions schemes at the heart of its strategy. It will also be intervening where appropriate so that DB schemes achieve their long-term funding strategy and deliver on pension promises.
Ultimately, tPR recognises that, “the best support for a pension scheme is a strong and solvent employer, which is why we will continue to support UK businesses while protecting the interests of the country’s pension savers“.
The watchdog has had to narrow in on the issues that COVID-19 and the turbulent economic climate is having on the pensions’ scene. This has been a trend in recent months with campaigners and other government agencies, and it suggests an authentic commitment to monitoring the risks presented by these uncertain times.