Regular round-up of the latest pensions, investments, trusteeship and scheme management news
Current Issues - February 2024
02 Feb 2024 - Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
See excerpts from this month's articles below (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues).
New year, new Code
The Pensions Regulator’s General Code of Practice was, after an elephantine gestation period, presented to Parliament on 10 January 2024. Likely to come into force in late March 2024, it will consolidate and update much of the Regulator’s guidance on the legal responsibilities of, and expected standards of conduct and practice for, the trustees and scheme managers of occupational, public-sector and personal pension schemes.
Plink, plink, FIS: new funding & investment remedies administered
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced the outcome of proposed reforms to the defined benefit (DB) funding rules, addressing concerns that the new regime will be unduly restrictive. Final Regulations have been laid before Parliament, with the expectation that they will come into force on 6 April 2024, and apply to valuations with effective dates from 22 September onwards.
The Regulator’s guide to the private-markets galaxy
The Pensions Regulator has published guidance for trustees on private-market investments. It says, in summary, that such investments can contribute to good member outcomes, if trustees consider their options properly and have the right governance systems in place.
HMRC newsletters: January 2024
Pension Schemes Newsletter 155 confirms that His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is aware of potential problems with some of the clauses in the Finance Bill 2023/24 concerned with the abolition of the lifetime allowance from 6 April 2024. It is considering whether changes are required.
Pension increase & revaluation news
Updates on GMPs in payment and Public Sector.
Post-Brexit re-write for PPF valuation guidance
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has updated its suite of valuation guidance, effective from 1 January 2024. It was prompted by the changed status of EU-derived law, specifically the court decisions in the Hampshire, Hughes and Bauer.
The PPF, the FAS, and the terminally ill
The Pensions (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill, a Private Member's Bill sponsored by Laurence Robertson MP, is due for a Second Reading on 2 February, and seems to have Government support. It would change the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS)’s definitions of 'terminally ill', so that they apply in future to people with life expectancy of less than a year, rather than (as at present) six months. The change would mirror one made recently in connection with social security benefits.