31st May 2018 Rosalind Connor comments in Professional Pensions as court rules in favour of TPR in dispute with ITV

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has secured a major win in the Upper Tribunal after the court ruled it was fair for the watchdog to seek financial support from five ITV group companies for the Box Clever pension scheme.

Although ITV has confirmed it will appeal the ruling, the tribunal provides some confirmation of how far the regulator’s powers extend, and how sponsors should consider their potential obligations to DB schemes.

Rosalind Connor believes that applying the regime without needing to find fault significantly expands the TPR’s powers.

“This is a radical thing they have said,” she argues. “They have said it is not about fault but about you being there. The breadth of the regulator’s powers are wider than it thought; it has pushed the boundaries of this moral hazard power.

“There is a real danger that this judgment has massively widened the concept of reasonableness. If it holds, then the regulator’s powers are enormously wide and it can issue against all those schemes which are insufficiently resourced. If this holds, or to the extent it is treated as doing so, it is going to be very hard for anybody to put any company into the insolvency process where there is a DB deficit.”

Read Rosalind’s comments in Professional Pensions

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