Mr Field announced the probe into the Government’s White Paper, ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’, this week - a move Hargreaves Lansdown suggests scepticism over how far protections of defined benefit pensions may go.
The Committee inquiry will examine:
· To what extent is improving TPR’s effectiveness a matter of greater powers, better use of resources or cultural change in the organisation?
· What can be done to strengthen the regime for clearing corporate transactions (like dividend payouts, selloffs, takeovers) that might weaken a pension scheme?
· Will a criminal offence provide a meaningful deterrent?
· What should “prudent” and “appropriate” scheme funding mean?
· How can consolidation of the fragmented DB landscape be best achieved?
· Given the difficulties facing DB schemes, is a faster legislative timetable warranted?
Tom McPhail, head of policy for Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The Government’s White Paper set out a measured approach to address concerns on governance, funding and regulation.
“However it also has to work within the constraints of the existing system and the government’s capacity for primary legislation.
"The Committee’s scrutiny of these processes are unlikely to cause the DWP any great discomfort, however the questions asked about the Pensions Regulator’s use of resources and its culture suggest the Committee already has some suspicions about where shortcomings in the system may lie.
“Any oral evidence sessions involving the Regulator may make for interesting viewing.”