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New chair of The Pensions Regulator sets out priorities

20 October 2014

The new chair of The Pensions Regulator has set out his strategic vision and priorities in his first major speech to the industry.

Mark Boyle announced plans by the regulator to publish a series of guides in the New Year to help support trustees of defined contribution (DC) schemes once the details of proposed pension reforms are confirmed by Government, in areas such as minimum governance standards, charge controls and changes to decumulation.

Boyle told the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) annual conference in Liverpool: ‘We will be providing guidance in the New Year to help trustees through the changes once the detail of the new provisions is certain. In the meantime we will continue to regulate against our DC code and will be updating it to reflect changes in legislation.’
He also told the conference what the regulator is doing to help small and micro employers through the automatic enrolment staging process, by engaging with key groups including bookkeepers and accountants.

Challenges ahead were also outlined, in relation to automatic enrolment for those employers staging between 2015 and 2018, highlighting how the regulator will support employers with relevant tools as part of the organisation’s educate and enable agenda.

With more than one and a half million employers due to stage between now and 2018, he also warned that as the number of employers staging rises significantly the regulator expects to see a ‘corresponding increase’ in how often it needs to use its statutory powers such as compliance notices, fixed and escalating penalties.

‘As we deal with smaller employers, we will see more who, despite our message to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all. This type of non-compliance is not acceptable. That’s why we have been given these powers and we will use them, where appropriate.’

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