Pensions Weekly Update – 20 September 2023

September 2023
Region: Europe

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 (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No. 2) Bill has passed through the House of Lords unamended and has now received Royal Assent. The government has said that it will consult as soon as possible on implementing the provisions of the act and that consultation will hopefully take place later this year. For more information on the contents of the act, see our weekly update of 26 July 2023.
  • In our weekly update of 5 July 2023, we noted that the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill had become an Act of Parliament and that (among other things) it gives ministers of state the power to amend, replace and restate certain types of retained EU law. The Department for Work and Pensions has used this power to restate four areas of pensions law in a way that incorporates court decisions into UK legislation. Draft regulations, which have been laid before Parliament, incorporate into UK legislation (immediately before the end of 2023) decisions made in the following equal treatment cases:
    • Allonby – A real-life comparator is not required for the purposes of guaranteed minimum pension equalisation.
    • Walker v. Innospec – A same-sex survivor is entitled to a full survivor’s pension, not just in relation to pensionable service post-December 2005.
    In relation to Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation, draft regulations laid before Parliament incorporate into UK legislation (immediately before the end of 2023) the following court decisions:
    • Hughes – The removal of the PPF compensation cap.
    • Hampshire – A requirement for PPF compensation to provide PPF members with at least 50% of their accrued benefits.
  • The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a blog on building relationships with pension administrators. The blog notes the progress made since 2022, when TPR created its first administrator relationships function. This is a team dedicated to engaging with third-party administrators to extend TPR's reach and influence. TPR started out by running a pilot with a volunteer administrator, which proved successful and identified some areas for business change. The pilot also highlighted to TPR areas of administration risk. The next stage involved engaging with a wider group of administrators and TPR is now focusing on systems and processes, data quality, trustee focus, understanding and willingness to pay, member engagement and communication, and pension dashboard readiness. TPR notes that good quality data is the bedrock for a well-run pension scheme and that pensions dashboards have become a catalyst for ramping up engagement between trustees and their administrators. TPR is clear that administrators will play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of pensions dashboards.
  • If you need a reminder of why pensions dashboards are needed, the Pensions Dashboards Programme has issued a blog on this subject.
  • The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has updated its pension sharing on divorce guidance to support private sector occupational schemes when providing information to members on pension sharing orders.
  • In the latest in our series of Pensions Life Hacks, we offer some tips on data privacy notices and when these should be revised. Also, look out for our next life hack on understanding the risks of derivative contracts.
  • Congratulations to Zoya Alam on completing two years as a paralegal apprentice in our Pensions team. Zoya has now started on her new journey as a solicitor apprentice. Well done, Zoya!

If you would like specific advice on any of these issues or on anything else, please contact a member of our Pensions team.

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