UK pensions regulator in diversity and inclusion push

The regulator will set out diversity and inclusion targets for senior management at pension schemes by the end of the year

The UK Pension Regulator  (TPR) has set out plans to drive diversity among the trustee boards of regulated pension schemes, describing the status quo as “not acceptable”. 

In its equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, released today, the Pension Regulator said that it would “embed diversity and inclusion within our people, regulatory and operational practices by 2025”.

The strategy raised concerns over the lack of diversity among pension scheme trustees, citing research from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association which found 80% of trustees were men. It said that more diverse boards led to “robust decision making” and that increasing trustee diversity would allow for “wider discussion” of issues.

By the end of the year, the regulator will have produced a strategy setting out diversity and inclusion targets for senior management at pension schemes.

As well as driving employment diversity at funds, the regulator will seek to understand and tackle inequalities among pension savers. TPR has launched a call for evidence with the Financial Conduct Authority in order to understand the structural issues affecting savers. 

The regulator’s Chair, Sarah Smart, said: “It is crucial we continue to challenge ourselves so that diversity and inclusion are not simply seen as desirable but that they are embedded across everything we do.”

“We also look to the pensions industry to work with us and work together to bring real improvements in diversity in relation to decision making across the sector.”

The regulator plans to lead by example, setting itself targets to increase the ethnic minority and LGBT levels among its senior leadership team to 15%, to tackle its gender pay gap – which currently stands at 4% – and begin reporting on ethnicity, disability and LGBT pay gaps.