During what the regulator called “a year of change across the pension landscape” its new annual report highlighted actions taken during the year, which included:
• use of frontline powers jumping by a third (32%)
• cases increasing by a quarter (24%)
• trustee appointment powers being used 593 times, up 11% on last year
• an increase of more than a third (37%) of fines issued for automatic enrolment non-compliance (49,032)
Chairman Mark Boyle said: “A year of growth and change has seen our clearer, quicker, tougher regulatory approach become central to our everyday work and regulatory actions.
“We are already undertaking twice as many proactive interventions thanks to our one-to-one supervision approach.
“We are supporting the 14 million savers in master trusts as the trusts go through the new authorisation process which we helped to set up.
“I’m proud of the role TPR has played in ensuring that for so many people, saving more for retirement is now business as usual.
“During the past year we saw the ten millionth saver automatically enrolled into a pension while rising contribution rates did not result in the opt outs some had predicted.”
New Chief Executive Charles Counsell added: “Our new ways of working ensure we have better oversight of those we regulate, improved identification of risks and a sharper focus on how best to use our powers.
“In the past 12 months we have used our new approaches to address, deter and punish inappropriate and dishonest activity.
“Results include our first prosecution for fraud, our first custodial sentence and the courts handing down the largest ever fine following a TPR prosecution.”
The publication reported how TPR met 18 of the 22 key performance indicators (KPIs) it set itself for the year.
Of the four KPIs missed, two were said to be due to TPR refocusing its resources during the year to new ways of working which resulted in them being replaced with new activity.
The new regulatory approach included building one-to-one relationships with larger schemes and increased targeted communications to monitor how schemes are being treated, TPR says.
The regulator said the other two missed KPIs regarded staff engagement and development and “reflects TPR’s significant organisational change”.
It said plans were “already in place” to address these areas.