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.
From 1 July, it became possible for furloughed employees to return to work part time – a process known as flexible furloughing. Employers of flexibly furloughed employees are only able to make a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim in respect of the usual hours not worked by those individuals. Further steps will be taken to phase out the CJRS over the coming months. For an overview of the reductions to the amount of grant that can be claimed see this policy paper published by HMRC.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued its 2020-21 Corporate Plan (the Plan) after a delay to allow a rethink of its priorities due to the impact of COVID-19. The Plan restates TPR’s position as a tough but flexible regulator. Although the Plan does not contain any surprises, it is useful to have TPR’s confirmation of the workstreams that will progress this year. These include:
A focus on badly run defined contribution schemes that may benefit from consolidation
Working with the industry to improve diversity and inclusion on trustee boards
Improving trustee levels of knowledge, understanding and governance standards in terms of ESG
Consolidating the codes of practice into a single code
Updating the trustee knowledge and understanding code of practice
Continuing work on the defined benefit funding code, which is still expected to come into force in late 2021
Issuing a corporate strategy discussion paper which will set out a “clear vision” for what TPR wants to achieve over the next 15 years. (That is a long time in pensions!)