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 being dashboards ready. Ms. Davey notes that the connection deadline will be 31 October 2026 and says, “It’s more important than ever that trustees and scheme managers start working collaboratively to progress dashboards quickly and efficiently. A phased and well-planned approach to connection should be maintained so that savers can reap the benefits as soon as possible.” The blog acknowledges that there are many data challenges, not least that TPR’s pensions dashboards readiness tracker revealed that only 42% of respondents held all their members’ data and contact details in digital format. “You can’t hurry getting data dashboards-ready. But now is the time for action.”
Finance (No. 2) bill is currently making its way through Parliament. The government has proposed an amendment to the bill in relation to stand-alone lump sum payments from registered pension schemes. The amendment means that any amount of a stand-alone lump sum payment that exceeds the tax-free amount as at 5 April 2023 would be subject to tax at a person’s marginal rate of income tax under the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.
TPR has published its annual funding statement analysis 2023. This provides further context and analysis of TPR’s annual funding statement 2023, which we noted in our weekly update of 3 May 2023. The analysis is of the expected position of defined benefit pension schemes with valuation dates falling between 22 September 2022 and 21 September 2023. TPR notes that the analysis is largely technical in nature and that the annual funding statement is likely to be of more interest to the wider audience. The analysis is similar to that undertaken in previous years, except TPR notes that the analysis has excluded trends in employer affordability due to the impact of inflation rates, the war in Ukraine and the significant and uneven impact of COVID-19. TPR summarises that its analysis shows that “the major asset classes invested in by UK pension funds experienced a wide variety of return profiles over the three years to 31 December 2022 and the three years to 31 March 2023”.