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 Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published initial guidance on pensions dashboards, outlining the steps it expects pension scheme trustees and managers to take to meet their obligations to connect with and supply pensions information through dashboards. TPR emphasises that there will be significant work involved and, regardless of connection deadlines, strongly advises that pension scheme trustees and managers start preparing as soon as possible. The press release accompanying the guidance flagged TPR’s concerns that many trustees have yet to start their preparations and announced the launch of a “Deadline” campaign that will run through the summer, reminding trustees that their connection deadline is approaching. For more details, read our blog “ASAP x 10 – TPR Puts The Dash Into Pensions Dashboards”.
The government has launched its second consultation on the draft pensions dashboards regulations. Having considered responses to the first consultation that ran in January 2022, the government is now seeking views on two specific changes to the draft regulations. These relate to (1) providing clarity within the regulations on the dashboards available point and (2) new proposals to support the disclosure of information between the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and TPR for the purpose of facilitating the smooth running of the dashboards ecosystem. The government is also seeking policy views on separate regulations that would allow TPR to share restricted information with MaPS where TPR considers that disclosure would enable or assist MaPS to exercise its functions in connection with the pensions dashboards regulations. Consultation closes on 19 July 2022.
The PASA-led GMP Equalisation Working Group Administration sub-group has published guidance on the “Admin implications of past transfers out”. The guidance lists a number of generic questions for pension scheme trustees to consider when taking steps to equalise past transfers out as part of their scheme’s GMP equalisation exercise, together with some of the administrative implications. The guidance illustrates that answering many of these questions is not a straightforward process and that legal and other professional advice will be required.
The Small Pots Cross-Industry Co-Ordination Group has issued an update report on its work to reduce the number of small defined contribution pension pots by finding low-cost automatic consolidation solutions. The “multiple problems require a suite of potential solutions”, and the group welcomes feedback. This is an important issue for the pensions industry, in particular for master trusts, and there is clearly a lot more work to do before solutions can be identified and implemented.
The government has commissioned a green nudge trial in partnership with the Behavioural Insights Team. They will be working with Aviva, Smart Pensions and Hargreaves Lansdown to reach a potential 160,000 pension scheme members. The purpose of the trial is to see how effective a “nudge” would be to increase saver engagement that translates into greener pension decision-making. The trial will last for three weeks and the results will be published later this year.
Did you see our #AttentionPensions – Summary on a Page. Our campaign highlights some pressing pensions issues and provides a series of short videos, factsheets and other valuable resources to help with your action plans.
Our summer edition of Hot Topics in Pensions brings an array of current pensions issues with a Platinum Jubilee theme, for your trustee and corporate agendas.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.