UK Treasury rules out possibility of single regulator for workplace pensions
UK – The Treasury has rejected the possibility of having a single regulator for all workplace pensions and said it has no plan to change the current system.
Speaking at a National Association of Pension Funds conference yesterday, economic secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid conceded he had not seen the report on governance and best practice in workplace pensions published last week by the work and pensions select committee, but he reiterated that the Treasury was not looking to proceed with a single regulator.
"I haven't seen the report from the work and pensions committee, so I'm not familiar with their proposals, although I know the gist of it," he said.
"We have no plans to change the regulatory protection for financial firms, pension funds and asset managers, other than we have already set out. We have no plan to have a single regulator for the pension industry."
The comments come after the committee urged the UK government to consider the case for a single pensions regulator, as it warned that part of the country's pension sector risked being subject to "less coordinated and rigorous" oversight than needed.
Michael O'Higgins, chairman at the Pensions Regulator, said yesterday at the same conference that it would be "unwise" to make changes at the present time.
"My preference would be to concentrate on ensuring the regulators use the principles rather than moving the deckchairs just at the moment," he said.
O'Higgins also argued that TPR's regulation of schemes could be transferred to contract-based funds, as the different watchdogs applied a principles-based approach.