Regulator asks pensions industry to help build savers’ understanding

Writes Holly Roach

The industry must work together to help savers better understand their options before they reach retirement, according to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Speaking at PA’s sister title Professional Pensions’ event PP Live today (14 September), chief executive Charles Counsell said the industry needed to help savers “understand and fully optimise the options available to them”.

He noted the Pension Schemes Act 2021 – which was introduced earlier this year – goes a step towards making pensions safer for members.

Counsell said he understands the industry wants “clarity” on the new regulations set out in the act and revealed the regulator will be publishing a number of policy documents over the coming weeks setting out how it will use its new criminal powers along, with other factors it considers important.

He also explained the new rules in the act “won’t fundamentally change how we deliver penalties”.

Regulatory focuses

Along with a number of other speakers at PP’ conference today, Counsell noted the urgency of the climate crisis and warned “we all have a role to play in tackling it”.

He said: “Climate change has a broad impact across our society and we have a direct role in the protections of member benefits.”

He said while the reporting of climate-related risks will be a “challenge initially”, the regulator will “continue to be clear about our expectations and how we’ll use our influence to affect change”.

Diversity and inclusion was another talking point for Counsell in his keynote speech, where he urged the pensions industry “has a responsibility to be fair and to encourage diversity”.

There are “compelling societal reasons as well as economic ones” to encourage diversity and saving across all potential members, he said.

“No saver should be left behind or excluded,” he warned.

Counsell revealed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, TPR “has not slowed down, nor will we slow down in the months ahead”.

He said: “We have a challenge ahead of us and we need to create a pensions landscape that is fair. I look forward to making changes smoothly.”