Pensions Weekly Update – 9 July 2024

July 2024
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.

  • In her first speech as chancellor, Rachel Reeves laid out plans to rebuild Britain and make every part of the country better off. She said that she has instructed HM Treasury officials “to provide an assessment of the state of our spending inheritance so that I can understand the scale of the challenge. And I will present this to Parliament before the summer recess”. This will be separate from the budget, which will be held later this year on a date that is yet to be confirmed. The chancellor also stated that the government will turn its attention to the pensions system “to drive investment in homegrown businesses and deliver greater returns to pension savers”.
  • The chancellor’s speech reflects the promises in the Labour Party’s manifesto to increase investment from pension funds in UK markets, and to adopt reforms to ensure that workplace pension schemes take advantage of consolidation and scale. The manifesto also included promises to: mandate that UK-regulated financial institutions including banks, asset managers, pension funds, insurers and FTSE 100 companies develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement; review the surplus arrangements in the Mineworkers Pension Scheme; retain the triple lock for state pensions; and reduce gender and ethnic pay gaps by increasing reporting requirements.
  • Liz Kendall has been appointed as the secretary of state for work and pensions (having previously held the position as shadow work and pensions secretary). Sir Stephen Timms and Alison McGovern have been appointed as ministers of state in the Department for Work and Pensions. We do not yet know what their portfolios will be. Sir Stephen has twice held the role of pensions minister and more recently chaired the Work and Pensions Committee. Alison McGovern has been the shadow minister for work and pensions for over 3 years. The new pensions minister will be the eighteenth incumbent of the role since it was introduced in 1998: only two ministers have held the role for more than 2 years.
  • If you are quick, there is still time to register for our webinar tomorrow (Wednesday 10 July 2024), which will be hosted by international affairs advisor Matthew Kirk, and looks at the implications for businesses of the recent UK and European elections.
  • In her recent blog post, associate Abigail Kennedy takes a look at when a workplace grievance could lead to a defamation claim.

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

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