UK – Pension Protection Fund chairman Lawrence Churchill says the PPF is to detail the risks facing the industry in a new publication in the late autumn.
Speaking at the 2006 NAPF annual conference and exhibition in London today, Churchill told IPE: “We think it’s going to be a very important document indeed across the industry. It’s an information resource for everybody.”
According to the PPF, the so-called ‘Purple Book’ will fill a historic pensions information ‘gap’ which exists in the UK market especially regarding risks faced by schemes. 'Purple' stands for 'Pension Universe Risk Profile', Churchill said.
The PPF is currently in the process of collecting information from the roughly 11,000 schemes in its pension universe.
“We are looking to get as much information from the PPF universe as possible because we want to put as much accurate information as we possibly can out,” a PPF spokesperson told IPE.
“The reason we want to do this is because it will help transparency and we want to help the industry understand the problems, because if we understand the problems we can understand what the solutions may be.”
According to Churchill, the PPF is currently doing a lot of work at the moment gathering and cleaning data so that it can present the information in a “way that is useful”.
The PPF is looking to publish the book – which will contain no scheme-specific information but will be based on an aggregate basis - on an annual basis. The body told IPE that this is an “evolving process”.
Churchill told delegates that ‘The Purple Book’ is a way to build, amongst others, confidence, accountability and transparency.
The PPF also announced that it is considering developing separate risk mitigation techniques for small and large schemes.
“We are looking at evolving the risk-based levy over time,” said the spokesperson. However, this matter will be discussed in the PPF’s annual consultation document.
Also speaking at the conference, Pensions Regulator chairman David Norgrove outlined four main themes in the Regulator’s medium-term strategy.
These include strengthening scheme funding, tackling risks to defined contribution schemes, improving standards of governance and building the risk-based approach.
According to Norgrove, the Regulator’s track record to date could be summed up as “so far, so good”.
The Regulator has answered roughly 40,000 pension enquiries from within the industry over the past year. Furthermore, 140 applications for clearance were granted and just three were refused for not adequately satisfying regulatory requirements.
According to Norgrove, “On the whole, I think there has_been a reasonable outcome.”