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Committee questions TPR on its response to USS whistle-blower concerns

27 June 2019

Following a first hearing in Parliament yesterday with new CEO of TPR, Charles Counsell, the Committee is continuing its ongoing scrutiny of The work of The Pensions Regulator. The Committee has received representations about TPR's involvement with the Universities Superannuation Scheme – one of the principal private pension schemes for higher education institutions in the UK.

Committee Chair Frank Field sets out a short series of questions about TPR's handling of concerns raised by a self-identified whistle-blower about the valuation of the pension scheme – which has affected the level of contributions that members are asked to pay – last year.

The Committee queries why it took TPR until 3 April this year – 5 months after the whistle-blower consented to being identified, and nearly a year after the concerns were raised – to write to the USS about these concerns, and also asks it to respond to a USS Joint Expert Panel's conclusion that “TPR appeared to have a disproportionate influence on the valuation and may have steered the employer.”

The concerns centre on what the USS' website describes as Claims of a 'large and demonstrable error' in the valuation earlier in October last year.

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