COMMONS

Pension Protection Fund: Committee launches inquiry into BHS pension liabilities

27 April 2016

The Work and Pensions Committee has announced the scope of its new inquiry into pensions regulation and the Pension Protection Fund, and lessons from recent cases including BHS.

Focus of the inquiry

The Committee considers the following points:

  • The adequacy of defined benefit pension scheme regulation and regulatory powers, in general and specifically in relation to the pension schemes of complex and multi-national companies
  • Use of these powers by The Pensions Regulator in recent cases, including BHS
  • Resourcing and prioritisation of TPR supervisory work
  • Implications of the regulatory approach for company behaviour, including whether it mitigates or incentivises moral hazard
  • The sustainability of the Pension Protection Fund
  • The fairness of the PPF levy system and its impact on businesses and scheme members

Witnesses

Witnesses the Committee intends to invite include:

  • Alan Rubenstein, Pension Protection Fund
  • Lesley Titcomb, The Pensions Regulator
  • Sir Philip Green
  • Baroness Ros Altmann CBE, Minister for Pensions

Chair's comment

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"We need as a Committee to look at the Pension Protection Fund and how the receipt of pension liabilities of BHS will impact on the increases in the levy that will now be placed on all other eligible employers to finance the scheme. We will then need to judge whether the law is strong enough to protect future pensioners’ contracts in occupational schemes."

The Committee is discussing the possibility of joint work with the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, which also has an interest in this area.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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