The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out its key areas of strategic focus for the next three years in its Corporate plan 2012-15.
Over the period covered by the plan, TPR’s actions will include:
- Ensuring that employers are ready for auto-enrolment, tailoring its approach for businesses of different sizes;
- Continuing the progress made on its six principles for good design and governance of workplace defined contribution (DC) pension provision and working with the industry to agree the criteria and standards that underpin them;
- Helping defined benefit (DB) schemes navigate through the challenging economic environment and setting out a strategy for the regulation of DB schemes in the next funding cycle;
- Continuing its focus on good administration, ensuring the existence of adequate internal controls and measuring the take-up of its record-keeping guidance, and taking on governance and administration cases;
- Continuing to respond effectively to market developments, ensuring it directs its resources in the areas of greatest risk to members, educating and enabling the industry to respond to changes and improve, and reducing the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund;
- Using its resources as efficiently and effectively as possible by working closely with other organisations and regulators; and
- Working with the pensions industry, UK government partners, and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to ensure the UK position is recognised in Europe and the right outcome is achieved for UK pension schemes from the European Commission’s review of European pensions law.
Michael O’Higgins, chair of TPR, said: “The uncertain economic climate is adding to the pressure upon employers, trustees and their advisers.
“Our focus continues to be on proportionate regulation, educating and enabling the pensions sector to deliver good outcomes for members, but standing ready to use our powers where necessary to protect retirement savings and the Pension Protection Fund.
“Over the last year, we have made strides towards providing greater clarity and transparency around the processes we follow and our decisions in key cases, and this will continue to be a priority going forward.”
Bill Galvin, chief executive at TPR, added: “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.
“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.
“In DB regulation, we’ll be focusing our attention on effective risk management across schemes and sponsors, particularly in more challenging segments of the industry.”
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