Standard Life suggests that pension regulation should be split to give The Pensions Regulator responsibility for final-salary scheme funding and the FSA responsibility for conduct of business of pension schemes.
During Money Marketing’s What Next for Pension Reform round table last week, Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail said it was “increasingly questionable” whether the UK needed two pension regulators.
He said: “The remits of the FSA and TPR are moving closer and auto-enrolment will accelerate that because you will have qualified workplace schemes and Nest sitting next to each other.
“TPR has done a lot of good work but it is increasingly questionable whether we should have two separate regulators.”
But Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson said the two should remain independent but the roles should be defined by function rather than scope.
He said: “Is the natural route not to put prudential regulation in one place and conduct of business in another? Maybe TPR should have the responsibility of making sure defined-benefit schemes are properly funded and the conduct of business sits with the FSA.”
Cicero Consulting director Iain Anderson said such changes are not yet on the Conservatives’ agenda.
He said: “It is difficult enough to dismantle and reform the tripartite arrangements and that is what they are primarily focused on, if they win power.
“But we might find some changes taking place in the Whitehall architecture and maybe those satellites then come together.”