Pensions Weekly Update – 2 September 2020

    View Author September 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’s (TPR’s) compliance and enforcement bulletin for April to June 2020 highlights a reduction in the use of its powers, due to its “practical and proportionate” response to COVID-19 pressures faced by employers and pension schemes. To date, TPR has not witnessed a spike of non-compliance with automatic enrolment duties as a result of the pandemic and says it will take a “dim view” of any attempts to exploit the situation.
    • The Department for Work and Pensions is consulting on whether to require trustees of larger pension schemes to have effective governance and targets in place for the assessment and management of climate risk and opportunities. Proposals include requiring trustees to publicly disclose analytics in their scheme accounts, with members being informed of the availability of information in their annual benefit statement. Consultation closes on 7 October 2020.
    • The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has issued a new statement confirming that levy statements, due to be issued in the autumn, have not been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The PPF will consult on the levy estimate for 2021-22 in the usual way. The statement notes that under existing legislation, the 2021-22 levy amount cannot increase by more than 25% of the 2020-21 levy amount and that the amount of levy payable in respect of a scheme is capped at 0.5% of a scheme’s liabilities. David Taylor, executive director of the PPF responsible for the PPF levy, says: “We remain confident that our sustainable funding strategy and diverse investment approach equips us well to weather the current market volatility and future challenges.”

    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.