Committee of Public Accounts Press Notice

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: The Pensions Regulator

When the Public Accounts Committee examined Opra in 2002, we were highly critical of the poor performance of the then regulator of the pensions industry. That organisation was rightly wound up in 2005 and replaced by the more powerful Pensions Regulator which, to go by what it has done in its first two years, is taking seriously the concerns of our Committee.

The Regulator made a good start by getting to grips with those final salary schemes where the risks to members were the most acute. It must now increasingly apply itself to money purchase schemes where standards of governance tend to be lower.

The pensions world is very volatile. Today’s problems include pension scheme deficits, employees who blindly transfer out of final salary schemes without full knowledge of the consequences and employers who abandon pension schemes. But these problems might suddenly diminish in importance and new ones just as swiftly appear. The Pensions Regulator must be fully tuned in to the pensions environment so that it keeps on top of emerging threats.

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488 488.