Regular round-up of the latest pensions, investments, trusteeship and scheme management news
Current Issues - February 2020
03 Feb 2020
See excerpts from this month's articles below (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues):
The Pension Schemes Bill (reprised)
The UK’s new Government has revived the Pension Schemes Bill 2019/20 that expired when Parliament was dissolved for the general election. The revitalised Bill does not appear to be substantively different: it still provides for the establishment of collective money purchase schemes, bolsters and boosts the Pensions Regulator’s powers, lays the foundations for ‘pensions dashboards’, makes changes to the defined benefit (DB) funding regime, and allows for restriction of statutory transfer rights.
In this article we give a broad overview of the contents of the Bill. For a more-detailed synopsis of its provisions, please read our October 2019 Sixty Second Summary.
RPI consultation delay
A letter from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Chair of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee announces that consultation on a proposed change to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) will now begin on 11 March 2020, the date of the next Budget. The exercise was originally planned to commence in January 2020.
Regulator trumpets BHS contribution notices
The Pensions Regulator has published the Determination Notice that led to it issuing contribution notices to Dominic Chappell for his role in Retail Acquisitions Limited’s ill-fated purchase of the BHS (British Homes Stores) group of companies, in March 2015.
New duties for IGCs
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a policy statement confirming that it will go ahead with proposals to extend the duties of independent governance committees (IGCs) and governance advisory arrangements (GAAs). From April 2020, IGCs and GAAs will be required to consider and report on their firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and oversee the value for money of any ‘investment pathway solutions’ for pensions drawdown.
Regulator leverage & liquidity research
The Pensions Regulator has published the results of a survey into the investments of the UK’s largest defined benefit (DB) schemes. The research was carried out to give the Regulator a better understanding of the risks faced by DB pension schemes and to help inform the Bank of England’s Financial Stability report.
Purple Book 2019 & DB landscape
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has published the Purple Book 2019, which looks at the risks faced by defined benefit (DB) schemes in the year ending March 2019. This edition provides data on 5,422 DB schemes, representing 99.7 per cent of the estimated 5,436 schemes eligible for PPF compensation.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published new editions of its Pension Schemes Newsletter, Countdown Bulletin and Managing Pension Schemes Service Newsletter.