Pensions Weekly Update – 13 January 2021

January 2021
Region: Europe

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

  • At the end of 2020, the UK and the EU agreed on the terms of a Brexit deal, including an interim solution to the issue of personal data transfers from the EU to the UK. The interim solution is a four-month extension period (which can be further extended by another two months, unless the EU or the UK objects) during which organisations can continue to lawfully transfer personal data from the EEA to the UK. This extension period will hopefully allow time for the European Commission to consider the approval of an adequacy decision in favour of the UK. If granted, the adequacy decision will enable the free flow of personal data from the EEA to the UK, and it will not be necessary to implement extra safeguards that otherwise have to be put in place under the GDPR when personal data is transferred from the EEA to a “third country” (such as the adoption of Standard Contractual Clauses or Binding Corporate Rules). For further information on the interim solution and the Information Commissioner’s Office’s cautious response to this development, please see our blog, prepared by Andrea Ward, a director in our Data Privacy, Cybersecurity & Digital Assets Practice.
  • The Pensions Regulator has updated its DC management and investment COVID-19 guidance, saying that it does not believe that the law allows it to grant an extension to the statutory timeframe for cash equivalent transfer values where a member is invested (wholly or partly) in a gated fund. We recommend that affected trustees seek legal advice on this issue.
  • The government has published its outcome of consultation on expanding the Dormant Assets Scheme. It notes that the scheme has unlocked more than £745 million for social and environmental initiatives from over £1.35 billion in dormant bank and building society accounts. In a U-turn from the proposal document, the government plans to include in the expanded scheme proceeds from dormant life insurance and retirement income policies, totalling an estimated £2.1 billion. Pensions from occupational pension schemes would not be included in the scheme.
  • Our series of 30-second #PensionsTensions videos will resume this week. Look out for senior associate Chris Harper, who will be sharing his views on DC consolidation.

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

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