Regular round-up of the latest pensions, investments, trusteeship and scheme management news
Current Issues - January 2024
11 Jan 2024 - Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
See excerpts from this month's articles below (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues).
Out with the old, in with the new (allowances)
His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published a December 2023 Lifetime Allowance Guidance Newsletter. It gives a useful summary of the provisions that the current Finance Bill would make, from 6 April 2024, for the abolition of the lifetime allowance.
Down with the levy—PPF confirms 2024/25 policy
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has announced the final levy rules for 2024/5. As proposed in a consultation document in September 2023, it is targeting total levies of just £100m. It expects that 99% of schemes will receive lower invoices as a result, and that legislative amendments will pave the way for them to fall yet further.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and His Majesty’s Treasury have jointly published a discussion paper in which they propose ways to increase the availability of support for those making financial decisions. Although it is focused primarily on the sorts of guidance and advice provided by regulated financial advisers, the paper also contains a chapter on the assistance given by pension trustees to scheme members.
The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has issued guidance to help schemes get ready to connect to the dashboards system. It is published alongside a ‘call to action’ that gives reasons why trustees and providers should ensure their readiness now, despite the postponing of the connection deadline until 31 October 2026.
Free cyber upgrade available
The Pensions Regulator has updated its cyber security guidance. It now asks that trustees, advisers and pension providers report significant incidents.
The Pensions Ombudsman has expressed disappointment with the Court of Appeal's recent decision that he does not constitute a 'competent court'. The import of the case is that the Ombudsman cannot—currently—resolve overpayment disputes by making scheme recoupment proposals enforceable. It seems, however, that the Department for Work and Pensions is willing to make the necessary changes to the law to give him that authority.
The Pensions Regulator plans to issue defined benefit & hybrid scheme return notices at the end of January 2024. The returns, which will ask new questions about how trustees have complied with their obligations to put fiduciary management appointments out to tender and set objectives for their investment consultants, will be due for completion by 31 March.
3 feet high & rising—pensions complaints
The Pensions Ombudsman (PO) published his annual report and accounts for 2022/23. The overall picture is one of improvements in efficiency, but a burgeoning workload.