The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published information and research on current practice in eight categories of public sector pension schemes, ahead of it taking on an expanded role regulating standards of governance and administration for these schemes.
From April 2015, TPR will set standards of governance and administration in the local government, NHS, teachers, civil service, armed forces, police, firefighters and judicial pension schemes.
This expanded role was given to TPR in the Public Service Pensions Act 2013, which received Royal Assent in April 2013.
TPR is currently working on a regulatory strategy and codes of practice, which it plans to consult on later in 2013.
Andrew Warwick-Thompson (pictured), executive director with responsibility for regulating the governance and administration of public sector schemes, said: “Our role is to make clear the governance and standards that schemes are expected to meet in order to adhere to legislation.
“The size and number of memberships of public sector schemes means they can face challenges in, for example, maintaining high quality data and records.
“Although they are run slightly differently to private sector schemes, we will take a similar approach, prioritising education and enablement but taking action if necessary to make sure schemes are run to a high standard. We plan to monitor and report on the progress of public sector schemes each year.”
Lauren Vose, a solicitor at Sackers, added: “Despite not taking over responsibility for regulating these public sector schemes until April 2015, TPR has taken its first step by publishing a report on governance and administration.
“The results make interesting reading, not least because they give some clues as to what TPR is likely to focus on when it comes to its new regulatory oversight of public service pension schemes.”