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.
Last week, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) published a statement in connection with managing investment and liquidity risks in the current economic climate. The statement considered actions that trustees should take in the near term, along with the actions that they should have taken before the end of the Bank of England’s gilt purchase scheme on 14 October 2022. The statement notes that the current market volatility has ramifications for trustees of all types of occupational pension schemes, whether or not trustees have adopted a liability-driven investment strategy. The statement sets out recommended actions that pension trustees should be taking to focus and prioritise the key areas of concern.
The government has published a response to its second pensions dashboards consultation. The consultation centred around two issues: (1) the formal notice period that would be given before dashboards would be made available to the public and (2) the disclosure of restricted information between TPR and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). With regard to the first issue, the government has taken on board feedback from the industry that 90 days' notice is insufficient and has said that at least six months' notice, therefore, will be provided before the “Dashboards Available Point”, when the dashboards will go live to the public. With regard to the second issue, the government has confirmed that it will proceed as planned to enable sharing of data between TPR and MaPS, and that it intends to lay an amending order to the Pensions Act 2004 as soon as parliamentary time allows. Dashboards regulations were laid before Parliament on 17 October 2022.
The new chancellor has announced that the basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% "until economic conditions allow for it to be cut". For the time being, at least, employers will not have to consider whether a change to basic rate income tax would impact the overall level of pension contributions being paid by their workers for automatic enrolment purposes.
Last week, we noted that the Pension Administration Standards Association (PASA) had published good practice guidance on DC transfers. PASA has also published its first edition of DC Governance Watch. The first edition focuses on value for money reporting and assessments, which are required to be undertaken by trustees of DC schemes with less than £100 million of assets.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues, or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.