Lesley Harrold

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UK Pensions: Flurry of pensions-related announcements in Autumn Statement      

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on November 22, 2023, included a long list of pensions announcements, although only the first three set out below have a firm starting date of April 6, 2024. Consultations, responses, calls for evidence or reviews were published on: Comment After years of initiatives around the edges of forcing consolidation of pension … Continue reading

UK Pensions: DB Funding Statement 2020: NRF survey gives the Pensions Regulator a thumbs-up

DB Funding Statement 2020: NRF survey gives the Pensions Regulator a thumbs-up Sophy Lelliott, a trainee in our pensions team writes: the UK Pensions Regulator published its annual funding statement later than usual on 30 April 2020. The Statement is aimed at trustees and sponsoring employers of defined benefit (DB) schemes with valuation dates between … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Regulator’s annual DB funding statement urges collaboration to meet COVID-19 challenges

  On April 30, 2020, the Pensions Regulator published its 2020 funding statement for defined benefit (DB) schemes with valuation dates between September 22, 2019, and September 21, 2020. However, these COVID-19 times are challenging for all businesses, and the effects of the pandemic are relevant to all DB schemes. The statement urges collaboration between … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Regulator’s warning that member transfer requests during the pandemic may be a poor decision

UK Pensions: Regulator’s warning that member transfer requests during the pandemic may be a poor decision Adding to its already impressive haul of Covid-19 related publications to date, on 29 April 2020, the Pensions Regulator published further trustee guidance Communicating with members when they request a transfer or to access benefits. Pension scheme members seeking a … Continue reading

UK Pensions – Covid-19: top tips for virtual trustee meetings

The current situation is constantly evolving and here we look at some useful pointers for pension scheme trustees to enable the smooth running of their virtual meetings. Do the scheme’s rules allow virtual meetings? With face-to-face meetings being impossible, governing provisions on virtual meetings need checking. Do your scheme rules, and the articles of association … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Regulator plans big shake-up for DB scheme funding: “fast track” or “bespoke” options

On March 3, 2020, the Pensions Regulator published the first of its two planned consultations on a revised DB funding regime. The first focuses on an entirely new approach for valuations and sets out eight principles underlying the new framework of “fast track” or “bespoke”. This consultation closes on June 2, 2020. The second consultation … Continue reading

UK Pensions – Could ethical veganism impact on future pension fund investments?

UK Pensions – Could ethical veganism impact on future pension fund investments? January 2020 In an employment tribunal preliminary hearing on 3 January 2020, Judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism satisfies the tests required for it to be a philosophical belief, with the result that it was protected under the Equality Act 2010. For … Continue reading

UK Pensions – new criminal offences relating to corporate transactions under the Pension Schemes Bill 2019

In its response to its June 2018 consultation on plans to improve the powers of the Pensions Regulator, the Government’s stated aim was to better protect members’ benefits in corporate deals. This was to be achieved by improving the ability of both the Regulator and scheme trustees to monitor relevant corporate transactions and other events … Continue reading

UK Pensions – is the current annual allowance limit unfair and unworkable?

UK Pensions – is the current annual allowance limit unfair and unworkable?  The Revenue has been forced, finally, to face up to the fact that the annual allowance changes in relation to pensions contributions which attract tax relief, and which were brought into force in April 2016, are unfair and unworkable. The Treasury announced on … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Regulator ramps up “green” investment guidance for revised SIPs

New guidance from the Pensions Regulator reflects recent legislative changes requiring trustees of occupational pension schemes to set out their policies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues which may influence their investment decisions. The new law From 1 October 2019, changes apply governing the way pension schemes prepare and revise their investment disclosure documents, including … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Are you sure you’re not a Professional Trustee?

If you are a pension scheme trustee, there is a risk that you might be considered a professional trustee without realising, and be subject to new standards for professional trustees that were published earlier this year. A new system of accreditation for professional trustees is also being introduced. Am I a professional trustee? A professional … Continue reading

UK Pensions Regulator: a new rule-making ability?

On 16 May 2019, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a periodic, government-conducted review which examines the continuing need, efficiency and good governance of the Pensions Regulator (TPR). This tailored review was conducted between August and November 2018 and led by Jamey Johnson, the former Chief Officer for Pension Wise (which is now … Continue reading

BIC UK Ltd v Burgess [2019] – employer appeal successful: retrospective amendment re-wrote history to an impermissible extent

BIC UK Ltd v Burgess [2019] – employer appeal successful: retrospective amendment re-wrote history to an impermissible extent The Court of Appeal (CA) has unanimously ruled that a retrospective amendment to the deed and rules of the BIC UK Pension Scheme (the Scheme) was invalid. Last year, the High Court had ruled that whilst the … Continue reading

UK pensions: Does an employer have a duty to advise a dying employee on the implications of taking ill-health benefits early?

The smooth operation of a pension scheme depends on an efficient flow of information between the employer and the member. Frequently, the Pensions Ombudsman is asked to consider scheme trustees’ and employers’ duties on providing benefit information to members. Where the law is silent, this can be a tricky area to navigate and considerable uncertainty … Continue reading
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