The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to launch a new approach to its workplace pension regulation which will see it provide 'one to one' supervision of 60 pension schemes.
The new range of interventions aim to address risks sooner, clarify the regulator's expectations and take action where necessary. It will include the introduction of a supervision regime to monitor schemes more closely, with higher and lower intensity interventions dependent on the risks identified.
From next month, TPR will implement one-to-one supervision for 25 of the biggest defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB) and public service pension schemes. This approach is to continue to be rolled out to more than 60 schemes over the next year.
In addition, the regulator also plans to a introduce higher volume supervisory approach to address risks and influence behaviours in a broader group of schemes. This will be piloted among approximately 50 DB schemes to assess compliance with messages in TPR’s 2018 annual funding statement. This is ‘specifically concerning whether schemes are being treated fairly when it comes to dividend payments to shareholders,’ TPR said.
Overall, TPR’s new approach is expected to impact hundreds of schemes with higher volume supervisory approaches to tackle risks in the pensions landscape.
TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb (pictured) said: ‘Following a complete review of our entire approach to regulation, we are now implementing a radical shake-up of the way we regulate to embed our pledge to be clearer, quicker and tougher.
‘Schemes across all sectors, whatever their size, can expect the volume and frequency of their interactions with us to increase so that potential risks to pension savers are identified early and put right before it becomes necessary for us to use the full force of our enforcement powers.’
Titcomb added: ‘An important element of our new approach will be the use of a broader range of communication channels to drive behavioural change by promoting greater understanding of what schemes need to do in order to comply with the law and demonstrate high standards. This was a vital ingredient in the success of auto-enrolment among employers and we look forward to developing a closer relationship with schemes, both large and small.’