Much has happened since I became Chief Executive of The Pensions Regulator (TPR) back in 2019, not least the inexorable march towards a new pensions reality in which savers bear far more risk and responsibility for their retirement choices.
That’s why I have made clear from the outset that TPR – working hand in hand with our partners – has a crucial role to play in ensuring those who run pensions help deliver the best possible outcomes for savers. I stand by that commitment.
The days of savers being left in small defined contribution schemes offering some benefits but little value are over, says David Fairs, TPR’s Executive Director of Policy, Analysis and Advice. Instead, it’s time for trustees to take advantage of available support and guidance to increase their skills in relation to investment decisions and take action to enable pension savers to access the investment opportunities that best support good outcomes — whether in their existing scheme or through consolidation.
It might just be me, but whenever you get something new, it can make you look at other stuff you have, and think about whether it needs fixing, refreshing, or replacing – or whether you need less of it or even need it at all and can throw it out altogether.
I heard it said, not so long ago, that TPR asks ‘silly’ questions. I’ll take the compliment, though I doubt one was intended. It’s one of the nice things about life here, that I get to ask questions. I’ve never (yet?) been so blunt as to ask: “Dear Trustees, what on earth were you thinking of when you set that investment strategy?” But it goes through my mind sometimes, based on pre-meeting paperwork.