Regular round-up of the latest pensions, investments, trusteeship and scheme management news

Current Issues - February 2023

01 Feb 2023 - Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

See excerpts from this month's articles below (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues). 

DC developments

On 30 January 2023 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published a bundle of documents concerned with developments in the defined-contribution (DC) pensions arena. They are billed as measures that will ‘will help address the pension inequality gap’ that has arisen with the decline in the number of defined-benefit schemes. The plans include proposals for extension of collective money purchase schemes, a ‘value for money’ (VFM) framework and a call for evidence connected with possible systems for the automatic consolidation of small deferred pension pots, as well as confirmation of amendments intended to facilitate greater investment in illiquid assets.

AE thresholds unchanged for 2023/24

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has made a statement in Parliament about the auto-enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band for 2023/24. It is keeping all of the numbers from 2022/23, so the earnings trigger will be £10,000, and the QE band will run from £6,240 to £50,270.

New guidance from Regulator

Highlights from TPR's Supporting defined contribution savers in the current economic climate guidance statement and Dealing with transfer requests guidance.

Actuary had discretion to ‘determine’ deficit-reduction contributions

The High Court in England and Wales has ruled on the meaning of pension scheme rules that allow contributions to be ‘determined’ by the scheme actuary. It agreed with the trustee that the phrase endowed the scheme actuary with discretion over the contributions that ought to be paid, in light of relevant considerations.

Auto-enrolment: reasonable excuse for non-compliance

A recent First-tier Tribunal judgment is a rare case of a successful appeal against penalties imposed for failure to comply with automatic-enrolment obligations. There has been a litany of such cases recently, in which the appellant invariably claims that it did not receive the Pensions Regulator’s correspondence, and the FTT judge (almost) invariably sides with the Regulator.

GMP Increase Order

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has laid before Parliament a draft of the Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (Increase) Order 2023, which would determine the increases to GMPs in payment, in so far as they relate to the tax years 1988/89 to 1996/97. As expected, given the 10.1% increase in the Consumer Prices Index for September 2022, the draft Order provides for the maximum 3% increase required under the relevant legislation.

HMRC Newsletters: January 2023

Highlights from HMRC's Pensions Schemes Newsletter 146.

Current Issues - February 2023


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