Tag archives: pensions

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: The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – what does the UK’s latest crack down on fraud mean for pension schemes?

As part of a longstanding government programme to combat fraud, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 has just been passed, although the implementation timeframe has yet to be confirmed. It is a particularly wide-ranging piece of legislation. Should this be on the radar for pension scheme employers and trustees? The most eye-catching part … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Use of reasonable [en]force[ment] – unnerving for those on the receiving end?

Speaking to banking colleagues recently about what the Pensions Regulator’s stronger powers mean for them reminded me just how much turns on the Regulator’s view of what is reasonable. There has been a great deal of discussion about the wide range of circumstances in which the Regulator could use its various powers (what the Regulator … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Is nature next on the governance agenda for pension schemes?

As many trustees begin to finally get to grips with the requirement to align their management and reporting of climate-related risks and opportunities with the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, they may have to find a little bit more room on the governance agenda. Speaking at the PLSA ESG Conference 2022, the Co-Chair … Continue reading

UK Pensions | Rethinking Notifiable Events

Given that April 6, 2022 was the date set out in the new draft notifiable events regulations it seems distinctly odd that there has been complete silence since the consultation closed last October. I am hoping the silence is down to legislators having a long hard think about whether the drafting is fit for purpose … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Maximising your chances of recovering accidental overpayments: the state of play

2021 saw a number of Pensions Ombudsman decisions on reclaiming overpaid benefits.  The direction of travel was decidedly member-friendly.  I’m left wondering what schemes can do to improve the odds of being able to recover excess payments. What can stop a scheme from reclaiming overpayments? If benefits are overpaid, the starting point is that trustees … Continue reading

UK Pensions: The road to compliance is paved with good intentions… and practical problems

I read with interest the blog post by Nicola Parish, TPR’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation, on December 8, 2021, where she warned trustees of DB schemes to be vigilant in the current economic climate. Nicola emphasised the need for strong, open relationships with employers and I think she is spot on with that comment.  … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Should the Pensions Regulator provide clearer guidance on when it might use its new enforcement powers?

It was great to attend “in person” the Association of Pension Lawyers annual conference in Brighton last week. A speaker suggested it would be helpful if the Pensions Regulator were to provide clearer guidance on when it might use its new enforcement powers, in particular by giving more specific examples and thresholds. I can see … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Transfer processes – urgent action required before November 30, 2021, deadline

The DWP has now finalised its new rules about statutory pensions transfers. The new rules place statutory obligations on trustees to examine most transfers in greater detail and give trustees significantly greater scope to say no to a member request to transfer their pension to another pension scheme.  This is if they decide that certain … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Minimum pension ages: a lost opportunity to encourage small DC pension arrangements into consolidation?

HM Treasury has just swept in with a change to the pension tax rules taking effect from midnight on November 3, 2021) which has closed down a little wheeze which was making some defined contribution master trusts even more attractive than usual. It’s disappointing even if it does put us back where we all originally … Continue reading

UK Pensions: SIPs for small schemes: law-making through the back door?

Last week’s interim consultation response from the Pensions Regulator addressed a common concern about the “Funding and Investment” section of the draft single Code of Practice: it confirmed that it would drop its proposal for a 20% cap on unregulated investments. This is a point that we are aware had been troubling some larger pension … Continue reading

UK Pensions: What’s TPR’s policy on policies?

One thing that jumps out at you the more you read the Pensions Regulator’s draft single Code of Practice is that trustees are expected to have a LOT of policies. We can see the logic: to have an effective system of governance, proper processes need to be in place and trustees will need to think … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Don’t ‘do’ pensions? Think again…

The Pensions Regulator has had a busy lockdown. While some details of its new enforcement powers under the Pension Schemes Act 2021 remain to be finalised, the need to consider the implications of those changes when conducting a wide spectrum of corporate transactions is clear. Merger and acquisition dealmakers, board members and others should be … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Data transfers from the EU likely to continue uninterrupted

We’re pleased to report what looks like some good news for pension schemes on data protection. The European Commission has published a draft decision as to the “adequacy” of the UK’s data protection laws. If the draft decision is formally approved by EU Member States, this would allow personal data to flow from the EU … Continue reading

UK: The end of the Brexit implementation period – implications for pensions

At 11pm on December 31, 2020, the Brexit implementation period ended and the last-minute trade deal agreed by UK and EU negotiators took effect through the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).  What does this mean for UK pensions and what steps should employers and trustees be taking? What is the impact on UK pensions … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Pensions Regulator calls on trustees to pledge to stop scammers

Last week, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) launched a new initiative that asks pension scheme trustees, administrators, advisers and providers to publicly pledge that they are taking appropriate action to protect their scheme members from scammers. The pledge is aimed to encourage better understanding of the warning signs of a scam, and to improve internal processes … 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 – 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 – 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: 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
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