The pension regulator (TPR) recognises that ‘These are unprecedented, challenging and uncertain times for trustees, employers, administrators and, crucially, savers’.
TPR are providing a update page for employers and other pension professionals.
The TPR provide the following information for employers:-
Trustees of both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes, employers and administrators should focus their activities on the key risks to pension savers:
- benefits need to be paid (DB only)
- the risk of scams needs to be minimised
- employers need to continue contributing
- savers need support to make good decisions in these challenging circumstances
- some administrative breaches of the law may occur and we will maintain a proportionate and fair approach to any action we may take
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and working collaboratively with government, regulators and other bodies to assess the most immediate risks to pension schemes.
We know this is a challenging time for everyone and we recognise the strain this is putting on employers.
We will take a proportionate and risk-based approach towards enforcement decisions, in light of these challenging times, with the aim of helping to get employers back on track and supporting both employers and savers.
The government has published information about support for employers, employees and businesses affected by COVID-19.
If you are in difficulty
Contact the TPR ‘if you have immediate concerns with your scheme, …or cannot pay your contributions’:
Helping protect your members from scams
Savers might increasingly look to transfer their pension, prompted by the instability of their employer or the financial markets.
This means they could be increasingly targeted by scammers attempting to lure them to ‘safe havens’. If a saver asks about transferring their pension, urge them to exercise extreme caution and visit ScamSmart which has specific guidance relating to COVID-19.
…signpost … members to the Money and Pensions Service – particularly those approaching retirement and whose pension may have been affected by the current economic conditions.