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 Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a blog linking to refreshed guidance for pension scheme trustees dealing with employer stress or distress. This has been updated to reflect recent market volatility. TPR reminds trustees that it expects them to have appropriate covenant monitoring in place as part of their integrated risk management and says, "We expect trustees and all relevant stakeholders to remain vigilant to further economic challenges which may negatively impact the ability of sponsoring employers to support DB pension schemes."
On 12 May, TPR published a statement relating to a cybersecurity incident experienced by Capita, confirming that it is now known that some data has been exfiltrated from the servers of Capita. The statement sets out some recommended actions for trustees and links to TPR's cybersecurity guidance. Please get in touch with your usual contact if you have any concerns or queries around this.
In our weekly update of 28 September 2022, we noted that the government had introduced into Parliament the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. This is now at the report stage in the House of Lords. Last week, the Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, issued a ministerial statement announcing that an amendment to the bill that would specify those EU laws that would be revoked from 31 December 2023 would be tabled. This would replace the previous clause of the bill that would have resulted in the majority of retained EU law being sunsetted unless otherwise preserved in regulations. The 15 May list of marshalled amendments introduces a new schedule into the bill that sets out approximately 600 EU laws that would be revoked. These are in addition to the 500 EU laws that are expected to be repealed by the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Procurement Bill. The government's intention is that the supremacy of EU law will still end on 31 December 2023. For more on this, please see a blog by Paul Jinks, a director in our Intellectual Property & Technology team.
The Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) has issued a progress report covering work undertaken by PDP, government and regulators since October 2022. PDP acknowledges the cooperation of the pensions industry, and reminds us of the need to continue with preparations while we wait for an announcement on the dashboards reset in the coming weeks.
The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has published a call for evidence, seeking views on the operation and application of legislation that sets out alternative quality requirements that defined benefit schemes can meet in order to demonstrate that they meet minimum automatic enrolment standards. The call for evidence also invites views on the equivalent alternative quality requirements for collective defined contribution schemes. The call for evidence runs until 19 June 2023.
Summer is just around the corner! Look out for our summer edition of Hot Topics in Pensions next week for a roundup of current issues affecting trustees and sponsoring employers.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.