Week ending 27 March 2020
TPR has published updated guidance on its website for trustees, administrators and employers and has said that the page will continue to be updated. The guidance covers the Regulator’s expectations of trustees, the need to protect members from scammers, what administration services to prioritise, how TPR will take a proportionate and risk-based approach to enforcement at this time and the fact that TPR is temporarily suspending its regulatory initiatives. The timescale for the open DB funding consultation will be reviewed in the coming weeks. A new page designed to help DB scheme trustees whose sponsoring employers are in corporate distress has also been published.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords have risen early for their Easter recess and will return on 21 April. Neither the Pension Schemes Bill nor the Finance Bill 2019-21 (which contains the new limits for the tapered annual allowance, as announced in the Budget) have been enacted into law yet.
The FCA has quietly updated when it will provide the final handbook text on changes to pension transfer advice, particularly for DB to DC transfers. This text seems likely to include banning contingent charging. The revised timescale is the second or third quarter of 2020 (rather than the first quarter).
HMRC has released its latest Pension Schemes Newsletter, which contains some temporary changes (initially for three months) to processes for scheme administrators. HMRC recognises that administrators may have challenges submitting returns before deadlines and obtaining “wet signatures” at this time.
In the news this week, there are two DB scheme closures, changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the FCA publishes new rules on pension transfers whilst the CMA reminds trustees about their compliance statements
Given the very company/scheme-specific impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, in this quarter’s Arena we simply show all the usual financial and investment analysis for what was a very turbulent first three months of 2020, plus a summary of key pension developments and Company pensions news over the quarter.
Over the autumn of 2019, BAC conducted an extensive survey of the actions which companies are taking to manage their defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements.
2019 marked 50 years since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and this was obviously on the Queen’s mind in her Christmas message as she talked about a bumpy year but one with small steps of progress as well. In terms of pensions, it also felt like a year of small steps and occasional bumps. In this quarter’s Arena, we take a positive look back at 2019, as well as looking forward to some expected pension developments over 2020.
Despite the very different circumstances facing individual companies, bac‘s autumn 2019 survey reveals a surprisingly consistent picture of the actions which companies are finding most attractive to manage their DB and DC pension arrangements.
Unit 13A | Church Farm Business Park | Corston | Bath | BA2 9AP | Telephone: +44 (0) 1225 481450
Registered Address: 37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA | Company Registered in England & Wales Company No. 07975135