It’s the start of a new financial year and we’ve just published our annual Corporate Plan.
This is where we set our priorities and focus areas for the next three years, bearing in mind the current pensions landscape as well as the main risks we see and changes anticipated.
I’m sure most of you will agree that the past year was, for all of us, challenging. Amid changing economic conditions, the pensions landscape has continued to evolve – with DC memberships now far outweighing those of DB, and AE steaming ahead successfully. So of course we’ve had to consider where our resources are most needed in light of these changes, among others.
I think it’s fair to say that more people than ever are aware of us and our work now. This is largely down to a combination of automatic enrolment and a number of high profile cases in the past year, some of which involved the use – or threatened use – of our strongest powers. So I hope the way we’ve set out our challenges, our priorities and our budget in the 2017-20 Corporate Plan helps people understand how we approach the way we regulate.
One of the main changes we’re making this year is to increase resources in our frontline regulatory teams, which will in turn produce positive case outcomes in quicker timeframes. Accordingly, our budget, which has been approved by the Department for Work and Pensions, has risen by £7.9 million to £84.1 million.
So what next? We’ve recently spent a lot of time listening to our regulated community and our stakeholders. This exercise, which we’ve called ‘TPR Future’, will help us design and deliver an updated and sustainable approach to regulating all workplace pension schemes for the coming five to ten years.
We know that the regulator we want to be – and that the majority of our stakeholders want to see – is clearer, quicker, and tougher. We’ve already made inroads and we’ll be saying much more about other changes later in the summer.
In the meantime, I expect it will be another challenging and exciting year but I’m confident in our people and the plans we’ve set out, and we’re equipped to meet the challenges ahead.
By Helen Aston
Executive Director of Finance and Operations