Articles - TPR on Autumn Statement proposals to boost value for money

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) reacts to announcements including a review of the master trust regime and responses to consultations/calls for evidence on small pots, decumulation and pension trustee skills. TPR has welcomed measures to enhance the quality of the pensions industry, support innovation and ensure savers are protected and get good value.

 Part of the Chancellor of Exchequer’s Autumn Statement today, the measures include:

 Next steps for the joint Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), TPR value for money (VFM) framework
 Recommendations following a review of master trust authorisation and supervision regime
 Helping industry to provide suitable products and guidance to savers accessing their pension savings
 An ambition for significant defined contribution consolidation by 2030, with greater scale facilitating productive UK investment with the aim of better value for savers
 Responses to consultations/calls for evidence on defined benefit (DB) consolidation, productive finance and pension trustee capability and culture, including support for TPR in creating a trustee register, and a stronger role for trustee accreditation
 Louise Davey, TPR’s Interim Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice, said: “We welcome these important policies which will help create a pensions landscape made up of fewer, larger, schemes which are well-governed and offer savers good value for money.”

 Value for money framework
 In response to the Autumn Statement, TPR have issued a statement on VFM.

 The statement explains how TPR is looking at options to embed the disciplines of the joint DWP, FCA, TPR VFM framework ahead of legislation.

 TPR along with the DWP and FCA, say they are committed to a holistic framework that can be applied consistently across the entire defined contribution (DC) market.

 The statement also welcomes an announcement by the FCA today (Wednesday) that it will consult on draft rules for contract-based schemes as part of the joint framework.

 Louise added: “A VFM framework can only work if there is a level playing field across trust and contract-based pensions. That’s why we continue to work with the FCA to develop their rules in anticipation of legislation for trust-based schemes.

 "We will continue to jointly engage the market and devise joint policy solutions and want trust-based schemes to engage with the FCA’s consultation.

 "This will help ensure there are no barriers to implementing the framework for trust-based schemes.”

 Master trust review
 The master trust review explains TPR will evolve its regulatory approach, including enhancing the supervision of investment governance.

 This should raise standards of trusteeship, build scale and expertise to invest in a diversified range of assets, and ensure all savers receive value for their money by default.

 Louise said: “We want a master trust market increasingly focused on value, not just cost.

 “Our evolved regulatory approach will put greater focus on investment governance, raise standards of trusteeship, build scale and expertise to facilitate investment in a diverse range of assets and ensure savers receive value.”

 TPR also welcomed support for a trustee register, another important step to understanding how it could best ensure trustees, who are responsible for the retirement outcomes of millions of savers, meet stringent standards.

 Every trustee body should include someone who meets professional standards, be highly qualified and able to balance competing priorities to deliver the best outcomes for savers, says TPR, adding where this is not possible, trustees should consolidate.

 Work has already begun to understand the information needed for the register with TPR looking at how much data can reasonably be captured via existing scheme return powers.

 TPR added it would work with DWP on any legislative changes required to collect additional data.

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