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Govt rules out FSA/TPR merger

Steve Webb 480 NAPF 2012

Pensions minister Steve Webb has ruled out merging the roles of The Pensions Regu­lator and the FSA due to concerns that further regulatory upheaval could create uncertainty.

The Government has come under growing pressure from some in the industry, inclu­ding the National Association of Pension Funds, to combine the FSA and TPR to prevent any overlap in their regulatory duties.

In July 2012, the National Audit Office published a report into the regulation of defined contribution pension schemes. In it, the NAO criticised the lack of co-ordination between the two regulators.

Following publication of the report, Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail said there was a “burgeoning case” for merging the regulatory activities of the FSA and TPR.

Addressing the work andpensions select committee last week, Webb said: “At a time of massive turmoil the last thing we want is another regulatory shake-up.

“There is also a risk that if The Pensions Regulator became part of the [new] Financial Conduct Authority, the organisation whichfocuses on employers might get swallowed up and the TPR’s work might become a lower priority.

“At the moment I just cannot see the gain in doing it and I would need a lot of convincing to change my view.”

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “This is good news because the last thing anyone wants is more regulatory uncertainty.”

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