Regulator claims vigilance of pension schemes has increased

Regulator claims vigilance of pension schemes has increased

The Pensions Regulator has increased its vigilance over corporate collapses and the potential knock-on effects to scheme members, according to a senior policy figure.

Speaking at The Great Pension Debate in London yesterday (November 8), David Fairs, executive director for regulatory policy at TPR, outlined the institution’s actions.

"When we see media coverage of companies in trouble, we send a letter to trustees to send out to all members who have requested a transfer," Mr Fairs said.

The letter contains "accurate and timely" information on the member’s cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) to help them to make considered decisions, he added.

The move follows an outline given in May in its response to the Work & Pensions committee report into the British Steel Pension Scheme, which was published in earlier in the year and was critical of the regulator's response to the problems facing steelworkers.

At the time, the watchdog revealed it was working with the Financial Conduct Authority and The Pensions Advisory Service to address claims they should have acted sooner in the British Steel scandal.

In May, the regulator said it already sent a letter to all members who had requested a CETV, but Mr Fairs's announcement this week showed a potentially more proactive stance. 

Mr Friars said that although there had been significant corporate collapses in recent years, instances such as Tata, where thousands of pension members were left without sufficient guidance, were "thankfully rare".

He added the regulator was working with the FCA to review a pension member’s journey and improve guidance for trustees.