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 is inevitable that we would mention politics following a week in which Guy Opperman, the longest standing Pensions Minister, resigned from his post. Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, gave a statement reassuring the public that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would be “firing on all cylinders” to support savers, and the following day Mr Opperman posted on Twitter that he had agreed to be reappointed “to help DWP navigate the next few weeks, while we decide the appointment of a new Prime Minister”. Mr Opperman cited a number of outstanding issues, including several pieces of legislation to be discussed in Parliament over the next two weeks, urgent work on dashboards, superfunds, DB issues, and an outstanding ESG consultation.
Prior to his resignation (and subsequent return) Guy Opperman made a written statement to Parliament on the expansion of the mid-life MOT project. Mid-life MOTs are designed to enable individuals to take greater control of their work, wellbeing and wealth (including retirement planning). The statement confirmed that the DWP intends to develop and deliver mid-life MOTs for more people aged 45 to 55 by: working with the Money and Pensions Service to deliver an online digital mid-life MOT (building on previous online iterations), offering mid-life MOTs at Jobcentre Plus offices, utilising “50-plus champions”, and launching a market engagement exercise to identify providers who will deliver mid-life MOTs through employers and direct to employees in three pilot areas.
The DWP has announced that Dominic Harris is the preferred candidate to replace Anthony Arter in the role of the Pensions Ombudsman and Pensions Protection Fund Ombudsman. This is subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the Work and Pensions Select Committee, which will take place today. Anthony Arter has occupied the Ombudsman position since May 2015.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.