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About The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is the regulator of work-based pensions, established under the Pensions Act 2004 as a non-departmental public body.

Legislation provides that TPR is operationally independent of Government, and is overseen by a Board of Executive and Non-Executive members.

TPR’s objectives as set out in the Pensions Act 2004 and Pensions Act 2008, are to:

  • Protect the benefits of members of work-based pension schemes;
  • Protect the benefits of members of personal pension schemes (where there is a direct payment arrangement)
  • Promote and improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes;
  • Reduce the risk of situations arising which may lead to compensation being payable for the Pension Protection Fund; and
  • Maximise employer compliance with the employer duties and the employment safeguards introduced by the Pensions Act 2008;
  • Minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only.

In order to meet these, the Regulator concentrates its resources on schemes where it identifies the greatest risk to the security of members' benefits.

It also promotes high standards of scheme administration and governance. The Regulator operates across three main areas: Defined Benefit schemes; Defined Contribution schemes, administration and governance; and the employer compliance regime including pensions auto-enrolment. TPR looks after the interests of defined benefit (DB) occupational and defined contribution (DC) work-based pension schemes.

In 2019, the DB landscape now comprises more than 10.7 million members and the DC market has over 18 million memberships. TPR is also responsible for maximising employer compliance with the new employer duty of the pension reform programme.

Role of the Determinations Panel

The Determinations Panel is a subcommittee of TPR’s board, established under section 9 of the Pension Scheme 2004 Act. It operates independently from other parts of the organisation, including TPR’s case teams. The Panel Chair is responsible for reporting to TPR’s Chair on a regular basis and must by law provide a formal account of the Panel’s work activities to TPR’s Board annually.

The Panel’s regulatory role is undertaken on individual cases on which TPR regulatory teams seek a Panel determination. Generally these are requests to exercise functions reserved to the Panel by the terms of the legislation. Individual panels are established as required in order to determine specific requests to take regulatory action, in an impartial way, based on the facts presented. These generally consist of three members. Each member will be expected to be able to chair such panels from time to time.

In addition, the Panel meets together quarterly on a collegiate basis, to agree the overall way in which it operates, and members undertake further activities on a more ad hoc basis.

In addition to the Panel Chair, there are currently seven other Panel members.

The draft code of practice and decision-making procedure can be found here

This link will also provide access to the Pensions Scheme Act and draft regulations. TPR is seeking to appoint three Determinations Panel members and one Determinations Panel Chair. These appointments will each be made for a four-year period with the possibility of a four-year reappointment.

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