Tag archives: pensions

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 or EEA to the UK uninterrupted after a temporary arrangement put in place at the start of this year expires. This is the so-called “data bridge” agreed as part of the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which will last until the end of April or … 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 law?

UK pensions law remains basically unchanged following the end of the implementation period and the TCA coming into force.  It is not expected to change significantly in the short term.

For example, any trustees or employers hoping this may spell the end to the … 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 that could protect members.

UK Pensions

Pension scams have been an increasing problem in recent years, with members targeted either to transfer their defined benefit pension pots in to a fraudulent scheme, or to a legitimate scheme but encouraged to invest in high-risk or unregulated investment options. … Continue Reading

Talking Turkey – Salvation for Investors from UK Defined Benefit Schemes?

The UK Pensions Regulator has offered some comfort to investors and funds which may have been deterred from investing in UK companies with historic defined benefit liabilities.

It is unusual, as a matter of English law, for the corporate veil to be capable of being pierced – normally the liability incurred by one group company will not, as a matter of course, taint others in its group. Liability for defined benefit pension liabilities is a notable exception – provided certain conditions are met, the Pensions Regulator can look to other group companies or controlling shareholders to provide cash or guarantees … 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 September 22, 2019, and September 21, 2020. Our previous blog examining its key elements can be viewed here.

On 28 May 2020 Lesley Browning, Phil Jelley and Sabrina English from our London pensions team hosted an interactive webinar discussion focusing on the … 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 for any trustee company, allow for meetings by telephone conference or video link? It’s also important to ensure any meeting you hold is quorate if individuals are unable to attend, so that decisions taken are valid. Any questions, ask your legal adviser – that’s what … 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 7 August 2019 that there will be a consultation on proposals to vary contribution rates for NHS staff to minimise the impact of the annual allowance on them.

Currently, the annual allowance (broadly the rate contributions can be paid to a defined contribution scheme or … 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 trustee is defined by the Regulator as “any person, whether or not incorporated, who acts as a trustee of the scheme in the course of the business of being a trustee.” The Regulator would not normally consider a remunerated trustee to meet this … 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 may arise. What level of information should trustees and employers provide to a member given a diagnosis of terminal ill-health? When might this information stray into the territory of unauthorised financial advice?

Two illustrative cases

In February 2019 (Mrs T – PO-19080), the … Continue Reading

Bilanzsteuerrechtliche Risiken bei älteren Betriebsrentensystemen

Ältere Versorgungsordnungen nehmen hinsichtlich des Anspruchsbeginns häufig nicht ausdrücklich auf die aktuelle gesetzliche Regelaltersgrenze Bezug, sondern verweisen nach wie vor auf die starre Altersgrenze von 65 Jahren. Gleichwohl erbringen die meisten Unternehmen in der Praxis erst ab dem gesetzlichen Regelrentenalter Versorgungsleistungen und bilden auch ihre Rückstellungen entsprechend. Fallen folglich Schriftform und Rückstellungen auseinander, so kann dies zukünftig unangenehme steuerliche Auswirkungen haben. Die so gebildeten Pensionsrückstellungen werden künftig nicht mehr anerkannt, sondern sind gewinnerhöhend aufzulösen. Die erforderlichen Anpassungen der Versorgungsregelungen sind ggf. nur noch bis zum Ablauf des aktuellen Geschäftsjahres möglich.

Bislang unproblematisch: Starre Altersgrenze von 65 Jahren in Versorgungsordnungen

Verweisen … Continue Reading

Limited Liability Partnerships members’status as workers

This post was co-written by Lesley Harrold,  Senior Knowledge Lawyer (Pensions), Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)

Employment Status

Since its introduction in 2000 the limited liability partnership (“LLP”) has become a popular corporate vehicle for professional services providers in the UK, especially legal and accountancy firms, many of which have converted from traditional partnerships to LLPs. An LLP combines the flexible structure of a partnership with the advantage of limited liability for its members, which arises from it having separate legal personality.

The UK has different categories of employment status:  Self-employed, employee and worker.  Whilst partners in a traditional partnership … Continue Reading

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