Pensions Weekly Update – 3 March 2021

March 2021

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.

  • You may recall that at the end of last year, we reported that the government and the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) had published a response to their consultation on RPI reform, which confirmed that the UKSA intends to bring the methods and data sources of the CPIH into the RPI, and that this change can be made in February 2030. (The chancellor did not consent to the change taking effect before 2030.) The consultation response acknowledged that the changes to RPI will impact some defined benefit pension scheme members and stated that the government “keeps the occupational pensions system under review and will continue to do so”. Meanwhile, recent commentary within the pensions industry has reported some pension schemes are considering a potential application for a judicial review of the decision to align RPI with CPIH from 2030.
  • The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has published guidance for UK pension schemes, trustees and providers on how to start getting ready for pensions dashboards. Chris Connelly, chair of the PASA Dashboard Working Group, said, "The main message with this guidance is a very clear one. You should start preparing now!"
  • The Department for Work and Pensions has published its consultation response on the alternative quality requirements for defined benefit and hybrid schemes being used as workplace pension schemes for auto-enrolment purposes. It has concluded that the alternative quality requirements should not be changed at present, but it will explore potential easements that could be made in the future.
  • In our Spring Hot Topics, we take a hero-themed look at some of the latest developments in pensions, including the increase to the normal minimum pension age, an update on GMP equalisation, IR35 off-payroll working rules, the state of play of the Pension Schemes Act 2021, an update on LGPS exit payments and forthcoming pensions developments.
  • In the second blog in our GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope series, Kate Bailey examines the extent to which trustees should chase top-up payments relating to past statutory cash equivalent transfer values received by their scheme, in light of the recent Lloyds judgment.

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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