The London Borough of Barnet Superannuation Fund is now being run more effectively following action taken by The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
TPR has published a regulatory intervention report outlining how it worked with the fund’s scheme manager to improve governance and administration standards, leading to significant improvements.
Better internal controls developed and implemented by the scheme manager following TPR’s intervention led to further issues being identified and steps are being taken to remedy these.
Mike Birch, TPR’s Director of Supervision, said: “As a result of our work with the scheme manager the fund’s more than 27,000 members can be more confident that the scheme is being properly managed.
“Since we started engaging with the scheme manager with have seen a significant improvement in administration of the fund. Originally it was apparent there was insufficient oversight of the work being done by third-party service providers. Whilst pension schemes can delegate work to third parties they remain responsible for their scheme.”
Following initial engagement with the scheme, TPR met the scheme manager in June 2018 to set out its expectations for improving the running of the scheme.
Whilst improvements were made, TPR was not content with the rate of progress and the number of additional failures coming to light. In May 2019 it issued the scheme manager with a Warning Notice outlining its intention to issue an Improvement Notice.
In July an Improvement Notice was issued requiring the scheme to implement monthly monitoring of contributions, complete the first two phases of a data cleansing plan and provide accurate annual members benefit statements for 2018/19.
This was the first time TPR had issued an Improvement Notice to a public service scheme solely focused on internal control failures.
Following action taken by the scheme manager TPR is not taking further action against the London Borough of Barnet Superannuation Fund.
Notes to editors
TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).