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 Dashboards (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have been laid before Parliament and are due to come into force on 9 August 2023. These regulations amend The Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022, most notably to replace the dashboards staging timelines and connection windows with a single connection deadline of 31 October 2026. In due course, guidance will be issued setting out expectations around staging dates, the aim of which is to prevent capacity crunches from arising.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued a blog encouraging trustees to signpost the digital Midlife MOT, recently launched by the government, in scheme communications.
The High Court has handed down its decision in ClientEarth v Shell plc and Others, following an oral hearing in July 2023. While this case is not of direct relevance to pension trustees, it is of interest because it considers the wider issue of climate change strategies of large corporates, and it impacts on stewardship considerations for trustees, with several large pension funds openly supporting the claim being brought by ClientEarth. ClientEarth’s main claim was that Shell’s directors had failed to manage material risks posed to the company by climate change. ClientEarth sought permission to bring an action against Shell and its directors. The court dismissed the application, mainly on the grounds that ClientEarth had not provided expert evidence that the directors had acted in a way that no other directors would have acted. It remains to be seen whether ClientEarth will seek permission to appeal.
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.