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.
We would like to remind you that a number of important consultations and calls for evidence, issued as part of the Mansion House package of pensions reforms, close on 5 September 2023. The timing of this is not ideal, due to summer holidays. Trustees may be particularly interested in responding to the call for evidence on trustee skills, capability and culture, which asks some important questions about issues such as how trustee skills could be improved, barriers to trustee effectiveness and the role of advice (particularly investment advice). See our publication for a reminder of the package of reforms.
Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at The Pensions Regulator (TPR), has called on the pensions industry to “step up and play its part in protecting savers from fraudsters”. In an article published in Professional Pensions this week, Ms. Parish urges the pensions industry “to report any scam suspicions they may have, however small, to the authorities – that’s Action Fraud or 101 in Scotland”. She also encourages trustees and administrators to sign the pledge to combat pension scams.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association commissioned the Pensions Policy Institute to investigate whether auto-enrolment could provide a way of improving the retirement incomes of low earners. The investigation focused on over 3 million individuals who meet the age criteria for auto-enrolment but earn less than the current earnings trigger of £10,000. The analysis suggests that auto-enrolment would increase the retirement incomes of this cohort by between 7% and 13%. The research will be helpful in informing future debates around removing or lowering the earnings trigger, in order to widen the reach of auto-enrolment. (Note that the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No. 2) Bill, which we have considered in previous newsletters, does not amend the earnings trigger.)
We are delighted that two members of our Pensions team have been shortlisted in the Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards 2023. Partner Kate Bailey is shortlisted for lawyer of the year and Monika Gagat is shortlisted for trainee of the year. Good luck, Kate and Monika!
If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.