During a year of change across the pension landscape, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has maintained and strengthened its clear, quick and tough approach.
Its 2018-19 Annual Report and Accounts, published on Thursday, highlights actions taken during the year, which included:
- use of frontline powers jumped a third (32%)
- cases increased by a quarter (24%)
- trustee appointment powers were used 593 times, up 11% on last year
- an increase of more than a third (37%) of fines issued for automatic enrolment non-compliance (49,032)
Chairman Mark Boyle said, “A year of growth and change has seen our clearer, quicker, tougher regulatory approach become central to our everyday work and regulatory actions.
“We are already undertaking twice as many proactive interventions thanks to our one-to-one supervision approach. We are supporting the 14 million savers in master trusts as the trusts go through the new authorisation process which we helped to set up.
“I’m proud of the role TPR has played in ensuring that for so many people, saving more for retirement is now business as usual. During the past year we saw the ten millionth saver automatically enrolled into a pension while rising contribution rates did not result in the opt outs some had predicted.”
New Chief Executive Charles Counsell said, “Our new ways of working ensure we have better oversight of those we regulate, improved identification of risks and a sharper focus on how best to use our powers.
“In the past 12 months we have used our new approaches to address, deter and punish inappropriate and dishonest activity. Results include our first prosecution for fraud, our first custodial sentence and the courts handing down the largest ever fine following a TPR prosecution.”
The publication reports how TPR met 18 of the 22 key performance indicators (KPIs) it set itself for the year.
Of the four KPIs missed, two were due to TPR refocusing its resources during the year to new ways of working which resulted in them being replaced with new activity. This new regulatory approach included building one-to-one relationships with larger schemes and increased targeted communications to monitor how schemes are being treated.
The other two missed KPIs regarded staff engagement and development and reflects TPR’s significant organisational change. Plans are already in place to address these areas.