During a year of significant economic challenges, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) continued to protect pension savers and remain an effective and robust regulator, according to its Annual Report and Accounts for 2021/22, published today.
The report highlights how TPR increased its regulatory reach, engaged with schemes over a larger number of merger and acquisition activities and worked with the DWP to further realise the ambitions of its Pensions Scheme Act.
TPR Chair Sarah Smart said: “Against a backdrop of significant economic and social challenges, we’ve kept our focus on the saver by working closely with government and other regulators, and by maximising the effective use of our resources. Joined-up working across government and our partners is vital to ensure we meet our strategic goals and we are determined to achieve this.
“One of our priorities during the year was promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. Last June we published a strategy setting out our ambitions for TPR and the industry. An example of where we put the strategy into practice is when we recruited our new non-executive directors. We have also continued to be a listening regulator having established three new stakeholder panels. The coming year will continue to be tough, but I believe we are well placed to meet the challenges and deliver the saver outcomes we set out in our Corporate Plan.”
The Annual Report and Accounts highlights several key achievements for 2021/22, including:
- increasing the number of savers in schemes covered by TPR’s Supervision team to 34m, exceeding the 30.7m target
- following a regulatory initiative on weakening employer covenant, three quarters (73%) of targeted schemes had constructive discussions with employers
- more than 27,000 unique page views of TPR’s online transfer regulations guidance and over 19,400 unique visits to the TPR scams page
- calling on trustees, administrators and providers to pledge to combat pension scams and meet anti-scam best practice; in total, 477 schemes and organisations have taken this pledge
- announcing the first superfund to meet TPR’s expectations for a suitable provider
- a successful prosecution against former Norton Motorcycle boss Stuart Garner for employer-related investment offences and the prosecution of two fraudsters who were subsequently jailed for more than 10 years in total in April
- driving forward work to implement the Pensions Scheme Act 2021 with consultations on TPR’s CDC Code of Practice, climate change reporting guidance and TPR’s new criminal powers
TPR Chief Executive Charles Counsell, said: “Our Annual Report shows that despite the significant challenges of the pandemic, we have shown resilience and determination to maintain our focus on the saver. We have reacted swiftly to events whilst also maintaining our strategic activities to ensure we achieve strong outcomes for our pension savers.
“Our approach to automatic enrolment is a good example of our work. Since removing the easements we introduced for employers during the pandemic, we have returned to business-as-usual sanctions for those failing to meet their legal duties.
“In keeping the saver at the heart of all we do, we focused on outcomes and set ourselves 14 ambitious KPIs for the year. We met 10 of them, narrowly missed three and were not able to achieve one in relation to our revised DB Code due to factors outside our control. We set ourselves challenging targets as we drive ahead with our strategic priorities.”