The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in the UK has outlined three main concerns in its corporate plan for 2021-24: implementing the Pension Schemes Act (PAS) 2021, combatting scams and developing a framework for measuring value for money.

Published this week, the plan shows how the regulator will deliver against these priorities, setting out its blueprint for the future of pension regulation to “put the saver at the heart of its work”, a statement said.

Charles Counsell, the regulator’s chief executive officer, said: “Following a challenging year, our corporate plan sets out our priorities for the next three years as we work to support scheme trustees, employers and savers in the recovery from the pandemic.”

He added that the plan “reflects the commitments made in our long-term strategy and builds on the work we have done in recent years to be a clear, quick and tough regulator”.

The plan also tells the pensions industry how TPR’s work will be measured. For the year ahead, the regulator has set itself 15 key performance indicators that are a mixture of quantitative based, milestone and progress-based measures.

Activity is aligned to TPR’s five strategic priorities, which look at security, value for money, scrutiny of decision making, embracing innovation and bold and effective regulation.

DB funding

The regulator expects its final revised defined benefit (DB) code of practice to be in place by December 2022, with scheme valuations submitted under the new guidelines from the point at which the new code comes into force.

The new regulatory approach – FastTrack or Bespoke – outlined in TPR’s first consultation is a step change, which will detail how schemes can meet the requirements under the PSA 2021 to have a funding and investment strategy for how benefits will be delivered in the long term.

TPR will soon publish the new code and be ready with appropriate processes and systems in place.


TPR has been engaging with those seeking to offer alternatives to DB schemes.

Throughout 2021-22, the regulator will continue to assess superfunds wishing to enter the market against its guidance to manage risks and seek to ensure savers are protected in the period before specific legislation is in place.

TPR will also continue to work with government – and the DB consolidation cross-government group – throughout the year to keep its interim regime under review.

“We’ll use our experience to support the DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] in continuing to develop the legislative framework for superfunds, which we anticipate being introduced from 2022-23,” it said.

TPR chair Sarah Smart said: “The Pension Schemes Act 2021 has given us more powers and so we expect to face some difficult prioritisation decisions about where to focus our resource, based on our ambition to reduce risk to savers and given our funding is more constrained.”

She added, however that “by being flexible, realistic and clear about what we can and should achieve, we will adapt to ensure we meet our goal to protect savers and make workplace pensions work for savers”.

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