TPR welcomes government’s ‘prompt’ reintroduction of pension schemes bill

Professional Pensions reports

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has welcomed the government’s latest update on the details of the pension schemes bill.

In a statement, TPR chief executive Charles Counsell (pictured) said the regulator “welcomes the prompt re-introduction of the pension schemes bill” and looks forward to working with the DWP as it progresses.

He added: “The measures the bill proposes will allow us to continue in our commitment to be a clearer, quicker and tougher regulator.

“The bill will give us the power to set and enforce clearer scheme funding standards in defined benefit pension schemes while also providing early warning of potential problems. Where problems do arise, new criminal sanctions and civil fines will act as a strong deterrent against risky and reckless behaviour, giving us flexibility to issue fines at the appropriate level, depending on severity.

“We also welcome the innovation of collective defined contribution if this can provide better outcomes for savers and employers without increasing risk. We are working closely with government to ensure an effective regulatory regime.

“We support new powers to protect individuals’ pension savings. pension dashboards will be a vital tool for savers to understand their pensions and plan for retirement.”

The bill will also include other legislation such as allowing the Pension Protection Fund to aggregate pensions for the purposes of calculating compensation.

In a statement yesterday, pensions and financial inclusion minister Guy Opperman said: “With this bill, we’re pushing ahead with our revolutionary pensions agenda and delivering for the millions of people brought into saving for later life by our reforms.

“We’re ensuring those who put pension schemes in jeopardy feel the full force of the law, transforming the way people get information about their retirement savings and introducing a new pension that could boost returns for millions.

“This legislation is the crucial next step in making the UK the best place in the world to retire.”

The bill was reintroduced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December after the Conservatives success at the 12 December general election.

HM Treasury also announced yesterday that the government will hold its Budget on 11 March. It will be the first held by chancellor Sajid Javid and under prime minister Boris Johnson, after one set for last November was cancelled due to the general election.