Here is our weekly summary of key legal and regulatory developments relevant to occupational pension schemes that you might have missed, with links for further information.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked pension trustees to report concerns about transfer requests to it. This includes specific circumstances, such as where an individual has been offered an incentive to transfer, or financial advice has been given by an unauthorised person, or where the transferee scheme has unregulated or high-risk investments, or if there is potential scam activity. The statement on the FCA’s website includes a contact email address that trustees can use for making a report.
The Financial Reporting Council has announced an increase in the number of signatories to the UK Stewardship Code. There are now a total of 254 signatories. The additional signatories bring the total assets under management of the list to £46.4 trillion. The Pensions Regulator encourages pension trustees to sign up to the UK Stewardship Code in its defined benefit investment guidance, its defined contribution investment governance guidance and its climate change guidance. Stewardship forms part of the wider picture on environmental, social and governance (ESG), with trustees of schemes that have 100 or more members being required to include their policy on stewardship in their statement of investment principles. For a summary of trustees’ wider ESG obligations, see The Society for Pension Professionals’ updated 2023 ESG guide, which is aimed primarily at trustees of small to medium-sized schemes, predominantly invested in pooled funds.
The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Mary Starks to lead a review of The Pensions Regulator. The review is in line with an expectation that all public bodies are reviewed by each Parliament. May 2023 is the target date for production of the report.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.