Pensions Weekly Update – 5 May 2021

    View Author May 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.

    • The Work and Pensions Committee has published a call for evidence to assist its inquiry into the government's approach to ensuring that pension schemes consider the risks posed by climate change and the role schemes can play in meeting emission reduction targets. The inquiry will look at various issues, including how pension scheme stewardship compares with the approach taken internationally, whether there are suitable financial products available to pension funds to make climate-conscious investments, and whether suitable information is available in order to assess climate risk or whether international reforms to financial reporting standards are required. The deadline for submissions is 18 June 2021.
    • The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) have published a joint consultation document setting out proposed changes to the asset class information that is collected annually from defined benefit pension schemes via the pension scheme return on Exchange. TPR uses the information to help measure investment risk, while the PPF uses it in its calculations for the PPF levy. The consultation proposes a tiered approach to the information that is requested, depending upon the size of the scheme. Larger schemes will be asked to provide more granular data. The consultation closes on 10 June 2021.
    • HMRC has issued pension schemes newsletter 129, which includes information on the deadline for submitting the 2020-21 annual return of information (5 July 2021). HMRC pension scheme returns, on the other hand, should only be submitted by schemes that have received a notice to file from HMRC. The newsletter also confirms that there are no changes to the income tax rates for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for 2021-22, that HMRC received 1,760 applications to register a pension scheme during 2020-21 and that more than £23 million was repaid in overpaid tax between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, which arose as a result of pension flexibility payments.
    • Watch out for the next instalment in our GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope series of blogs, when director Kevin Burge will focus on data gaps.

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