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.
Louise Davey, Director of Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice at The Pensions Regulator (TPR), has published a blog on the importance of trustees taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into account when setting their investment strategy. In the blog, Ms. Davey provides more detail around the review of statement of investment principles (SIPs) and implementation statements that TPR plans on undertaking later in the year. This will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will be to check that all trustees who are required to publish SIPs and implementation statements have done so. The second phase will be a review of a cross-section of SIPs and implementation statements. The review will be a qualitative one, which will focus on the relevant ESG, climate and other sustainability parts of the documents. The second phase will start in the autumn. Trustees will be expected to have followed the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stewardship guidance.
TPR has provided an update to the Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee in relation to its work on the pledge to combat pensions scams (Pledge). TPR notes that more than 600 schemes have now made the Pledge. TPR explains that the Pledge is a two-step process that commits schemes to taking action to protect members and follow the principles of the Pension Scams Industry Group Code of Good Practice, and then encourages schemes to self-certify that they are fulfilling the Pledge principles. The update also highlights different initiatives that TPR has undertaken with other bodies, such as the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the Money and Pensions Service. TPR has also contributed to the review by the DWP on the 2021 transfer conditions regulations.
The UK and EU Commission have published the joint text of a draft memorandum of understanding on financial services regulatory cooperation between the EU and the UK. The memorandum includes the establishment of a joint EU-UK financial regulatory forum. The memorandum of understanding is still subject to the internal processes of the EU, but the government says it expects that both parties will sign it soon.
Are you up to speed with the possible impact of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on the pensions industry? This is the bill that has been heralded as both the "Brexit Freedoms Bill" and the "Bonfire of EU Laws" (although not by the same people at the same time). Our blog contains an overview of how the bill is progressing through Parliament.
Our Summer Hot Topics in Pensions contains a round-up of current issues affecting trustees and sponsoring employers, with a summer holiday theme. We hope you like it!
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.