The Pensions Regulator (TPR) does not need additional powers to do its job properly and legislators should avoid knee-jerk legislation, according to a lawyer.
Speaking at the annual Society of Pension Professionals (SPP) conference, Allen & Overy partner Neil Bowden warned it is important legislators do not overreact to high profile cases such as British Home Stores (BHS).
The passing of knee-jerk legislation could cause unintended consequences later on, Bowden warned.
"The ammunition for TPR is already there and the current system is working. It is more a question of process and resource. We should be proud of what we have achieved in the last ten years [creating the Pension Protection Fund]. If BHS happened in 2000 there would have been no safety for members," he said.
If politicians play around with the Pensions Act 2004, it could have negative consequences. "You could make it harder for banks to lend to companies with large deficits," he added.
Also speaking at the conference, TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb (pictured above) argued it is crucial to distinguish between two debates. "We have to navigate through this carefully and what I am trying to do is distinguish situations where we debate a tweak to our existing powers versus a wider debate about what type of regulator we are. It is very easy for regulators to call for more powers or more resources."
People's Pension director of policy and market engagement Darren Philp added the industry has to watch out for any shotgun post-Brexit legislation: "I think you will see an appetite from politicians for more regulations. What worries me is the scope of that regulation. That is a risk for pensions over the next couple of years."
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