TPR reaches £255 million settlement to safeguard member benefits
Coats Group Plc has agreed to pay £255 million to safeguard the benefits of approximately 24,000 pension scheme members after we took anti-avoidance action.
We issued Warning Notices in 2013 and 2014, setting out the case for exercising our Financial Support Direction power in relation to three defined benefit (DB) schemes sponsored by companies within the Coats corporate group.
The case is a good example of how, even after we’ve served a Warning Notice, we can work together with the company and the trustees to achieve a good outcome for members without the need to formally enforce our powers through the Determinations Panel. The settlement will substantially improve the funding of the two schemes and also strengthen the employer covenant supporting them. Read more about the case.
We asked for feedback on areas including the professionalisation of trustees, scheme consolidation, and the use of our powers, and have committed to driving up standards through:
More targeted education and tools to raise the standards of poor trustees
Setting out clearly what we mean in practice by the higher standards we already expect of professional trustees
Tougher enforcement against trustees who fail to meet the required standards.
We will launch a targeted education and enforcement drive in 2017 and will continue to engage with industry, inviting thoughts and comments on any aspect of pension scheme governance at 21Ctrustees@tpr.gsi.gov.uk
Integrated risk management (IRM) enables trustees to better assess, prioritise and manage their employer covenant, investment and funding risks.
IRM is a central feature of our annual funding statement and our DB code of practice. Using an IRM approach will give trustees and employers a holistic understanding of their scheme’s sensitivity to risk and enable trustees to agree a sustainable plan with the employer to help deliver promised member benefits.
Seven million now saving as a result of automatic enrolment
More than seven million people have now been put into a pension by their employer as a result of automatic enrolment, and more than 340,000 employers have now completed their declaration of compliance. Read more in our declaration of compliance report.
In 2017, the largest number of employers so far will see their workplace pensions duties start and by the end of the year, more than one million employers will have complied with the law.
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