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

Current Issues - November 2023

02 Nov 2023 - Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

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

Levée en masse

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) proposes to substantially increase the general levy on pension schemes for the years from 2024/25 to 2026/27. Its favoured approach would result in schemes with fewer than 10,000 members paying an additional £10,000 ‘premium’, in April 2026, on top of the usual per-member levy, to help recover the levy deficit whilst incentivizing consolidation.

VAT a palaver

His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published draft legislation intended to provide continuity in the operation of value-added tax (VAT), in the wake of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The draft legislation, which is destined for inclusion in the next Finance Bill, should mean that VAT on pension scheme management expenditure continues to be recoverable as it is currently—provided, that is, that trustees and sponsoring employers can jump through the existing hoops.

Heads on spikes on London Bridge

The Pensions Regulator has announced the first fine for climate-reporting failure.

Spotlight on the ‘S’ in ESG

The Taskforce on Social Factors has announced the publication of a draft Guide, containing recommendations on how the pensions industry can incorporate such factors into investment decision-making.

The (Regulator’s) view from the summit

Nausicaa Delfas, the Pensions Regulator's Chief Executive, gave a speech at a Pensions Summit at Mansion House in the City of London on 25 October 2023. She said that consolidation into larger, better-run pension schemes will facilitate asset diversity and help achieve optimal retirement outcomes.

Zen & the art of motorcycle miscreance

The Pensions Regulator has published a regulatory intervention report on its investigation and criminal prosecution of Stuart Garner, the former owner of Norton Motorcycles and sole trustee of three pension schemes.

Not at this address: postal problems & penalty notices

The First-tier Tribunal recently set aside fines issued to an employer for non-compliance with its automatic enrolment duties. The Tribunal said that penalties were inappropriate in the circumstances, because the employer likely had not received the Pensions Regulator’s notice directing it to take steps to remedy the contravention, and that the Regulator had been wrong to refuse the employer’s requests for review of the penalty notices.

SIPP administrator duped by fraudster

The Pensions Ombudsman's determination in Mr N (CAS-38681-W2H9) tells the (thank goodness) unusual story of a scheme administrator that was conned by a swindler who somehow gained access to a member's email account.

Public sector update

Updates on: 2022/23 LGPS statisticsGuidance on correction of pension contributionsGuidance on common actuarial approaches, and ‘McCloud’ newsletter.

HMRC newsletters October 2023

His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published Pension Schemes Newsletter 153. It contains updated defined-contribution flexibility and scheme-registration statistics, along with the now-customary update on the development of the online Managing Pension Schemes service. On the last point, more schemes are likely to be asked to submit pension scheme returns, via MPS, than in the past, and to supply more information, because they are going to be used to police pensions tax compliance.

Current Issues - November 2023


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