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

Current Issues - October 2020

05 Oct 2020 - Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

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

Encouraging DC consolidation & investment in illiquid assets

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has put forward for consultation measures intended to foster consolidation of under-performing defined contribution (DC) occupational pension schemes, and promote greater diversification of investment portfolios. The plans include new disclosure obligations concerning investment returns and, for smaller schemes, expanded ‘value for members’ (VfM) assessments.

Mandatory climate-risk governance & reporting for large schemes

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) proposes that large occupational pension schemes be required to assess their exposure to climate-change risk, and publish their findings, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It is planning to introduce the obligations gradually, so that schemes with £5bn or more in assets would be affected from 1 October 2021. It will consider extending the requirements to schemes with assets below £1bn at a later date.

Scheme Funding Analysis 2020

The Pensions Regulator has published an analysis of the funding positions of schemes with valuation dates between 22 September 2017 and 21 September 2018 (known as ‘Tranche 13’). The main finding is that the increase in assets over the period exceeded the increase in liabilities, resulting in an improvement in the average funding level (37 per cent of schemes reported a surplus on the technical provisions basis).

Call for Evidence on DB auto-enrolment standard

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued its triennial call for evidence, as required by legislation, about the suitability of the alternative quality requirements for defined benefit (DB) and hybrid schemes that are used for automatic enrolment (AE).

Planned consultation on unified Code of Practice

The Pensions Regulator has updated its July statement about its intention to produce a streamlined, single of Code of Practice. It now says that it is planning to consult formally ‘in late 2020 or early 2021’, but will ‘engage with stakeholders’ beforehand on the proposed design and content.

Viral news - September 2020

The Pensions Regulator has updated its COVID-19 guidance, signalling an end to the pandemic-related easements to schemes’ reporting obligations.

HMRC newsletters - September 2020

Pensions Schemes Newsletter 124 contains an update on some of the temporary process changes that were instituted due to the pandemic (in summary, HMRC is extending them until 31 March 2021), reminders for providers operating relief at source, and some notices related to the Managing Pension Schemes [online] service (including a reminder that HMRC will soon begin deleting log-in credentials once users of online tax services have been inactive for three years).

Current Issues - October 2020


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