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, the DWP confirms its determination to bring about DC consolidation of smaller schemes, the Regulator ends more of its Covid-19 easements and the Court of Appeal rejects the claim that increases in the state pension age of women born in the 1950s was discriminatory.
Journey plans or glide paths may have been around for a long time but they’re at the heart of the Regulator’s proposed new funding code. In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman looks at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and explains why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy for their schemes.
This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Emerging from lockdown”, which looked at how best to tackle the most common pension issues which companies are currently facing. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 June 2020.
As we keep hearing, we are living in unprecedented times. However, as we turn our attention to the future, what does the “new normal” mean for defined benefit pension schemes? In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman considers the most common pension issues that companies are facing and how best to ensure that the company approaches these on the front foot.
Covid-19 has created many challenges for DB schemes but, for those ready to transact in 2020, it may have created even more favourable market conditions for a buyout. The problem is that most schemes are not there yet. In this Briefing we look at what being “deal ready” actually means and what work it will involve.
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