TPR reviews regulatory approach and easements during COVID-19

Jonathan Stapleton
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Parish: We have taken steps to reduce the regulatory burden on trustees, employers and providers
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Parish: We have taken steps to reduce the regulatory burden on trustees, employers and providers

The Pensions Regulator has set out further guidance on its approach to agreed reporting requirements for employers, trustees, pension advisers and providers as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance is part of The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) package of measures to safeguard pensions through the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TPR executive director of frontline regulation Nicola Parish said: "The pressures caused by COVID-19 have been felt throughout the pensions industry. That's why we have taken steps to do what we can to reduce the regulatory burden on trustees, employers and providers at this unprecedented time.

"We will take a reasonable, pragmatic and proportionate approach to our regulatory work during COVID-19. However, there are a number of areas, particularly those regulations designed to directly protect savers' interests, where we are not easing our requirements.

"Trustees, employers and providers should read TPR's COVID-19 guidance so they are clear on what is expected of them at this time."

  • TPR has reviewed its reporting requirements to ease the burden for employers, trustees, pension advisers and providers so the focus can be placed on essential activities that need to be done to keep schemes running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • TPR will adopt a more flexible and pragmatic approach to what must be reported due to the COVID-19 situation, including when to take enforcement action.

The guidelines explain:

  • On reporting requirements -if the breach can be rectified in less than three months and doesn't negatively impact savers - there's no need to report it. But a record should be kept of any decisions and actions.
  • On enforcement - in making decisions about regulatory action in respect of breaches of administrative and compliance requirements, TPR will do so on a case-by-case basis and adopt a flexible approach, for example, granting longer compliance periods.

The guidance also provides a non-exhaustive list of areas where these principles will not apply. There are also areas where specific guidance has been offered.

Read TPR's latest guidance here: https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-consider/covid-19-an-update-on-reporting-duties-and-enforcement-activity

Read further information about TPR's broader package of measures to safeguard pensions through the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic here: https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-consider

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