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

Current Issues - October 2023

03 Oct 2023 - Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

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

Expanding the scope of auto-enrolment

The Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No. 2) Bill received Royal Assent on 18 September 2023, becoming the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act 2023. It gives the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) powers to widen the criteria for auto-enrolment.

PPF 2024/25 levies: a new low (though not as low as they could be)

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) proposes to collect just £100m in levies for 2024/25, half of the amount originally targeted for 2023/24, and to hold them at that level for the foreseeable future. The levies would be even lower but for the PPF’s desire to retain some capacity to respond to sudden changes in circumstances. It estimates that 99% of schemes will receive lower levy bills compared to this year's.

The main thing is honesty

August and September 2023 brought us some meaty (in more ways than one) determinations from the Pensions Ombudsman's 'Dishonesty Unit'.

Challenge to surplus-return plan rejected

The Pensions Ombudsman has concluded that a trustee's decision to pay surplus of approximately £12m to a scheme sponsor on winding up, without augmenting members’ benefits, was properly made and could not be impeached.

Room for improvement: Regulator gets its report card

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published an independent reviewer’s report on the Pensions Regulator. The reviewer concludes that the Regulator ‘is overall well-run... and is generally well-regarded', but identifies some areas where it could do better.

DWP preserves selected EU legal obligations

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has laid in Parliament draft regulations that would 'codify' (that is, keep) some European Union-derived aspects of our pensions law that would otherwise bite the dust under the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.

Tweaks to tax law when insurers hit difficulties

The Registered Pension Schemes (Authorised Member Payments) Regulations 2023 allow top-up payments to annuity policyholders whose entitlements are subject to judicial write-down orders when their insurance company gets into financial difficulties.

Public sector round up

Highlights regarding Investment governance and McCloud.

PLSA refreshes divorce charging guide

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has updated its guidance on pension sharing on divorce. The guidance includes a revised schedule of recommended charges. According to the press release announcing the publication, the new guidance becomes effective on 2 January 2024.

HMRC Newsletters September 2023

His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) issued a September 2023 edition of its Managing Pension Schemes Service (MPSS) Newsletter, which announces the launch of event reporting (giving details of circumstances giving rise to income-tax liabilities) for the tax year 2023/24 onwards, with the publication additional online guidance. The Newsletter also contains a reminder to file accounting-for-tax (AFT) returns for the third quarter of 2023 by 14 November.

Current Issues - October 2023


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