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.
David Fairs, Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice at The Pensions Regulator (TPR), has blogged on the topic of TPR's new criminal offence powers, noting that the reach of TPR's new powers is generating some heated debate. He emphasises that the new powers should not worry those who are doing the right thing and says TPR is "not in the business of making the lives of competent and responsible trustees, advisers or employers, or anyone operating in this space, harder". The consultation on TPR's draft policy, which sets out how it will approach the exercise of its new powers, closes on 22 April 2021.
Trustees and employers continue to execute documents by virtual means and we are receiving regular questions from trustees on this topic. While virtual execution of documents is a practical approach in the current climate, it is not without its pitfalls. For example, can an individual act as a witness if they watch a signatory sign a deed via videoconference? Can a director's personal assistant affix the director's electronic signature to a deed and it still be valid? If you are unsure of the answers to these or other questions surrounding virtual execution of documents, please do take advice.
We are planning a number of webinars over the coming months, including a webinar on the actions trustees should take in response to TPR’s proposals for the first phase of its new code of practice, which will replace 10 of its existing codes of practice and raise the bar in terms of pension scheme governance. Look out for the invitations!
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.