Pensions Weekly Update – 22 April 2020

April 2020

Here is our brief weekly summary of key legal and regulatory developments relevant to occupational pension schemes, which you might have missed, with links for further information.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) published:

  • Updates to its guidance “Automatic enrolment and pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers”, including comments to clarify the position if furloughed employees opt to reduce their contributions and the position if the employer’s pension contribution is below the automatic enrolment (AE) statutory minimum.
  • A new set of guidance for employers with furloughed employees, “COVID-19 technical guidance for large employers”, explaining the interaction between the employer’s normal pension contribution calculation and the amount that can be claimed from the CJRS, where:
    • A salary sacrifice arrangement is in place for pension contributions
    • The employer has certified that a defined contribution pension scheme meets the AE requirements as it utilises one of the alternative methods of setting AE employer contributions, which do not reflect the 3% qualifying earnings calculation (DC certification)
  • Employers are reminded to check the data that Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) hold for them, as this will be used by D&B to calculate Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy risk scores. D&B are taking over the insolvency risk scoring from Experian for levy years 2020/21 onwards. Usually, employers who wish to self-submit data in order to assist with their risk score must do so by the month before scores are generated. In order to assist schemes and employers, the PPF has said that it will allow employers to self-submit data to D&B up to 30 April 2020 for use in generating scores for April 2020.
  • We mentioned in our last update that we are receiving a lot of enquiries about trustee decision making and virtual execution of documents. We have produced a #How2DoPensions quick guide addressing some of these issues.
  • The consultation period for reforming the retail prices index methodology has been extended to 21 August 2020.

If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.

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