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.
We noted in last week’s update that the House of Commons had rejected amendments to the Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill that had been proposed by the House of Lords, which would have had the effect of reinstating the state pension triple lock for 2022/23. The Bill received Royal Assent on 17 November and became an Act of Parliament, resulting in the triple lock being suspended for one year.
HMRC has published its Managing Pension Schemes Service newsletter for November 2021. The newsletter is primarily for scheme administrators, but it is worth trustees being aware that it provides more detail on the requirements for “Scheme Administrators” (which, in this case, actually means pension trustees) to register on HMRC’s new Managing Pension Schemes Service. This is quite a detailed process and time should be allowed for making the necessary online submission. Information that might have to be provided includes the name, address, date of birth, national insurance number and unique tax reference of each pension trustee. Failure to register on the new system means that you will not be able to migrate your pension scheme over from the old Pension Schemes Online service, which will eventually close.
Would you have a plan if it turned out that your pension fund investments include companies that have a poor record on workforce safety? Could you effectively manage the ensuing reputational damage to yourselves and/or potential damage it might cause to the scheme’s sponsor? Join us in January for our webinar, in which we will consider the advantages of putting in place an environmental, social and governance (ESG) breach response plan and we will also take a look at the next stage of ESG investing – taking account of biodiversity. Registration for the webinar will open in January.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.