Regular round-up of the latest pensions, investments, trusteeship and scheme management news
Current Issues - July 2021
02 Jul 2021
See excerpts from this month's articles below (to read more, please download our latest Current Issues):
Improving DC outcomes
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the outcomes of two consultation exercises: Improving outcomes for members of defined contribution pension schemes (which ran from September to October 2020), and Incorporating performance fees within the charge cap (which ran from March to April 2021). The necessary legislation was laid before Parliament for its approval, and guidance on the changes has been published.
Activating the Regulator’s new powers
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has laid two sets of Regulations before Parliament under new powers contained in the Pension Schemes Act 2021. They are concerned, respectively, with a new test for the imposition of contribution notices, and with beefing up the Pensions Regulator’s information-gathering powers. Both statutory instruments have been re-titled since they were published for consultation purposes.
Governance and reporting of climate change risk
The Department for Work and Pensions has published final Regulations and related statutory guidance on mandatory Task-force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) governance and reporting for occupational pension schemes, alongside a response to its second consultation exercise. It has made a small number of changes to the broad regulatory requirements, to provide simplification or clarification of the policy intent.
Rule allows sub-RPI increases
The Court of Appeal has decided that a rule saying that pensions should increase in line with the Retail Prices Index 'or any other rate decided' did not mean that the employer's discretion was limited to awarding a higher rate of increase. Although the rule’s drafting was in some respects unsatisfactory, there was no ambiguity in the language used, nor any obvious mistake made.
Court rectifies scheme to reinstate RPI alternative wording
The High Court agreed to rectify a pension scheme trust deed to (re)insert words that the employer and trustee argued had been omitted in error. This had the effect of changing the scheme from one with ostensibly ‘hardwired’ Retail Prices Index increases into one in which it is possible to substitute another inflation measure.
OTS tax year change consideration
The Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) is exploring the ramifications of changing the UK’s tax year so that it ends on 31 March or 31 December.
HMRC newsletters June 2021
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published Pension Schemes Newsletter 130. It announces the extension of some COVID-driven relaxations to processes (mainly related to relief-at-source, but one allowing submission of annual statistical returns without signature) until 31 October 2021; all of the other temporary process changes that it had made ended on 30 June.