First, a reminder of an important deadline – as mentioned in our Winter Hot Topics in Pensions publication, 7 January 2022 is the deadline for submitting your compliance statement and certificate to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The statement and certificate are a requirement under the CMA's Order dated 10 June 2019 in relation to the investment consultancy and fiduciary management market. Hopefully, this is all in hand for your scheme(s), but if you do require any assistance before Friday’s deadline, please get in touch with your usual contact at the firm.
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.
- It has been reported in the press that the courts have given permission for an application for judicial review to proceed in relation to a decision by the UK Statistics Authority to effectively replace the retail prices index (RPI) with the consumer prices index including housing costs (CPIH). The switch is currently proposed to take effect from 2030. The switch will impact many pension schemes, primarily because pension increases in those schemes are currently made by reference to RPI and/or because those schemes hold investments in index-linked gilts. The hearing is expected to take place in summer 2022.
- The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a blog on the benefits of making trustee boards more diverse and reports on the progress being made by the industry working group it established to tackle the barriers to diversity and inclusion across the industry.
- A snapshot of what is on the pensions horizon for 2022 – TPR's policy on how it will approach the use of overlapping powers is expected to be in force in early 2022; the final draft of the regulations relating to collective money purchase (CMP) schemes is expected to be laid before Parliament in February; in spring, the government is expected to consult on new draft funding and investment regulations; the stronger notifiable events regime is expected to come into force in April; TPR has indicated that the second consultation on the defined benefit funding code of practice will happen in the summer of 2022 with it in force by December 2022; legislation for CMP schemes is scheduled to be in force from 1 August 2022; regulations requiring simpler annual benefit statements for schemes providing defined contribution benefits that are used for automatic enrolment will be in force from 1 October 2022; the next tranche of occupational pension schemes will be subject to mandatory governance and reporting requirements in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures from 1 October; and the government is expected to consult on new sustainability disclosure requirements for pension schemes during 2022. If that is not enough, there is also the new single code of practice that will require the attention of trustees and advisers alike during 2022.
- The answers to our festive pensions quiz are now available. We send our congratulations to the winner, who has been notified.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.