The Pensions Regulator (TPR) chief executive Charles Counsell has said the regulator will continue its scrutiny of the industry despite the many challenges brought forth from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking this morning (13 July) at PP Live, Counsell said he was confident in TPR's approach to communicating with the industry and guiding trustees, employers, and sponsors through the pandemic period.
"All TPR have had to adjust their ways of working and generating a huge amount of content very quickly under an awful amount of pressure and I am enormously proud of how the TPR team has responded - their dedication through this time has particularly come to the fore," he said.
"At TPR we've talked a lot about being clearer, quicker, and tougher, and these last four months we've had to prove especially that we are being clearer and quicker, and that the pandemic hasn't stopped us from being tough."
Counsell gave a particular warning regarding increased scam activity since March, and noted that the regulator would continue to address related concerns.
"We knew we'd have to act quickly, and alert everyone to scams," he said. "Whatever your position in the pensions world you've had to adapt to the new circumstance we're in and the new risks we are presenting.
"None of us yet know the full impact of this on us personally or across our industry. The pandemic is highlighting huge and immediate issues around financial security."
He continued: "TPR is not changing its course because of the pandemic however - now more than ever trustees and employees need quick and clear guidance and savers need protection. Our regulatory response demonstrated the effects of Covid-19 will be long lasting. We will not be blown off course by Covid-19.
"Regulatory interventions we paused will resume in the coming months. Our new supervisory approaches announced last year continue, along with our work on auto enrolment. Working collaboratively has always been at the top of my agenda and now more than ever we will be working together with other regulators and bodies across the industry."
Counsell said he hoped the industry would "use but not abuse" flexibilities to rules laid down for both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes.
"We set out our guidance clearly and quickly and would like the industry to continue to follow it but the pandemic is not an excuse to let standards drop or lose sight of the saver," he said.
"We the regulator are here to listen, and I'd ask you to remain vigilant. We all clearly face great challenges over the next year, but savers need to be at the forefront of our considerations. The shadow of Covid-19's implications will be long and dark.
We remain committed to doing the best for savers and we have and will continue to react quickly in this environment and be clear with our regulated community."
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