Pensions Weekly Update – 25 March 2020

March 2020

We appreciate that many of our readers are busy responding to the rapidly evolving challenges of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have limited capacity for addressing other pensions issues. Therefore, we plan to provide you with a brief weekly summary of key legal and regulatory developments relevant to occupational pension schemes, with links for further information.

Please contact any member of our Pensions team if you would like more information on any of the topics covered.

Latest News

  • The limits for calculating the tapered annual allowance will increase from 6 April 2020 to £200,000 for threshold income and £240,000 for adjusted income. For those who continue to be caught by the tapered annual allowance, the minimum tapered annual allowance will reduce from £10,000 to £4,000.
  • The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has confirmed that the insolvency risk scores proposed by Dun & Bradstreet will be used from April 2020 in respect of levy invoices from 2021/22. If you plan on certifying or recertifying contingent assets in order to reduce your 2020/21 levy, please see our blog on changes to the way in which documents should be submitted to the PPF.
  • The implementation of the off-payroll tax rules (IR35) has been delayed until 6 April 2021. These rules affect payments to trustees who provide their services through a personal service company.
  • The PASA-led GMP Equalisation Working Group has published guidance designed to assist pension scheme trustees who are deciding whether to undertake a GMP rectification exercise now or defer it so that it can be combined with GMP equalisation benefit adjustments.
  • The outbreak of COVID-19 presents unexpected challenges for the whole pensions industry. TPR’s latest statement sets out its current expectations. Among other issues, our clients are grappling with challenges relating to holding virtual meetings and executing deeds. Please contact us if you need any help. Also, see our recent client alert.
  • The Coronavirus Act 2020 contains a variety of measures in response to the epidemic, including changes to the rules governing Statutory Sick Pay and the introduction of employment and pension rights for individuals on “emergency volunteering leave”. For more information on the employment law implications, please see a recent client alert.
  • Note that we are awaiting further information on how pensions and other benefits are to be treated in relation to furloughed employees.

Access our Global COVID-19 Resource Hub for guidance on key legal and risk issues for businesses, including a complimentary risk assessment tool.