Current Issues October 2019
04 Oct 2019 - Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Excerpts from this month's articles (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues):
The CPIH in the RPI's clothing
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) is likely to change, no earlier than 2025, to become a virtual clone of the Consumer Prices Index variant that incorporates owner-occupiers’ housing costs (the CPIH).
GMP equalisation update
Following the 2018 High Court ruling that pension schemes are required to equalise pension benefits for the effects of guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs), an industry working group has published a ‘call to action’ and guidance on equalising for GMP; and the trustee of Lloyds pension scheme has requested further guidance from the Court.
Stewardship & governance changes: new guidance issued
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a ‘fact sheet’ about changes it made recently to the information that trustees must disclose in statements of investment principles (SIPs) and elsewhere, in connection with the EU’s re-vamped Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II). The new rules cover the engagement policies and investment-governance arrangements of private-sector occupational pension scheme, and are being phased in, beginning in 1 October 2019.
Minor surgery prescribed for doctors' annual allowance ills
The Government is consulting on plans to amend the rules of the NHS Pension Scheme in England and Wales to address the effect of the tapered annual allowance on highly paid clinicians. An extension of proposals aired in July but withdrawn just over a fortnight later, they would give those members most at risk of annual allowance charges the ability to tailor their accrual levels.
Fixed protection loss via auto-enrolment not employer/scheme's fault
The Pensions Ombudsman has rejected a complaint from a scheme member who was not warned that automatic enrolment could jeopardize his lifetime allowance protection. Neither his employer nor the scheme manager was obliged to advise him of such matters, especially as they were unaware that he had accumulated substantial pension rights in his previous career.
Regulator’s Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin
In its most recent Compliance and Enforcement Quarterly Bulletin, the Pensions Regulator notes that it has, for the first time, appointed an independent trustee to a scheme due to a lack of competence amongst the existing trustees.
(Another) new Secretary of State
Therese Coffey was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 8 September 2019, following Amber Rudd‘s resignation. Guy Opperman remains in his role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion.