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.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Data Sharing Code of Practice was laid before Parliament on 18 May 2021 and will come into force after 40 days. The Code of Practice is intended to be a guide for organisations about how to share personal data in compliance with data protection law and also contains a number of good practice recommendations. Of particular interest is the emphasis placed on putting a data sharing agreement in place when one controller (such as a pension scheme trustee) shares personal data with another controller. One example of where we would recommend data sharing agreements being adopted in the pensions context is where personal data relating to a pension scheme is shared between an employer and the pension scheme trustee. The ICO recommends that before sharing the personal data, the risks of doing so are assessed using a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).
The government is consulting on how to implement its decision to apply a de minimis, below which a flat fee charge will not be levied in respect of a member’s defined contribution (DC) pot where the scheme is used for automatic enrolment (AE). The de minimis will be £100 and it will apply only to the flat fee element of the combination charge. The other element of this combination charge, being a percent charge based on the member’s value of funds under management, will be unaffected by the de minimis. The government is also consulting on moving to a single, permitted universal charging structure for use within the default fund of DC schemes used for AE. Consultation closes on 16 July 2021.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its three-year corporate plan for 2021-24. It covers a variety of topics, including the impact of the pandemic on the pensions landscape, TPR’s new regulatory powers under the Pension Schemes Act 2021, DC consolidation, pension scams, cybersecurity, defined benefit (DB) superfunds and the revised DB funding code of practice. TPR says that it expects its final revised funding code to be in place by December 2022, with scheme valuations being submitted under the new code from the point at which it comes into force.
TPR and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have issued a joint call for input, inviting views on what TPR and the FCA can do to help engage consumers so that they can make informed decisions that lead to better savings outcomes. The call for input recognises the different challenges being faced by different generations in this regard. The closing date for submissions is 30 June 2021.
In the first of our #PensionsTensions: New Dimensions factsheets, we present some key pension risks and assess how they have evolved in the two years since our #MeetPAUL (Protection Against Unmitigated Liabilities) campaign.
In the next instalment of our GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope series, Wendy Hunter takes a look at the issue of bulk transfers and whether recent case law clarifies the position for all pension schemes.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.