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Joint DB & DC trustee agenda update - October 2022

Welcome to our monthly update on current legal issues for trustees of DB and hybrid pension schemes, designed to help you stay up to date with key developments between trustee meetings, and to support the legal update item on your next trustee agenda. We also have a separate DC-only briefing

DB funding regulations consultation

A consultation has been published on draft regulations outlining what schemes will need to do to comply with the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requirement to have a funding and investment strategy (FIS) in place. The deadline for consultation responses is 17 October 2022.

The FIS is intended to ensure that pensions can be provided over the long term. A key principle is that schemes should be in a state of low dependency on their sponsoring employer by the time they are significantly mature, and the regulations prescribe requirements related to meeting that goal. Schemes will need to set out the FIS in a written statement of strategy, along with other disclosures (read more).

Further detail (including what counts as ‘significantly mature’) will be set out in a revised DB funding Code of Practice – the Pensions Regulator (TPR) is due to consult on this later this year.

ACTION: Take the draft regulations into account when considering funding strategy.

Dashboards developments UPDATED

The work towards the introduction of pensions dashboards continues: the government has published a response to its consultation on the dashboards regulations (read more), a summary of dashboards policies (read more) and a further consultation (read more). The Pensions Dashboards Programme is consulting on the standards that schemes will need to meet (read more). TPR has published initial guidance on complying with dashboards requirements (read more). The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has published updated guidance for schemes on how to match dashboard users’ information against their records (read more).

ACTION: Ensure your scheme is taking steps to meet the requirements in the regulations and standards, taking the TPR and PASA guidance into account.

Administrator exit terms NEW

PASA has published guidance on the provisions schemes should have in place for the end of an administration contract, to ensure a smooth transfer to a new provider. It focuses on clarifying: the terms on exit, including service level agreements for provision of information and data and stated responsibilities; the scope of services covered; and fees, including any additional out-of-scope charges and the charge rates applied (read more).

ACTION: Check your administration agreement for adequate exit provisions, even if you are not expecting to transfer services imminently.

Watch this space

  • The government has consulted on changes to the notifiable events regime. There is currently no revised date for the delayed regulations (read more).
  • TPR has consulted on its proposed single code of practice: watch our webinar on the proposals and read TPR’s interim response. Publication of the revised version of the code is expected soon.
  • A revised code on transfers, and other materials from the Pension Scams Industry Group, are also awaited.
  • TPR will be launching a joint consultation with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and DWP on a Value for Money Framework by the end of the year.
  • The government confirmed in its September mini-Budget that it plans to accelerate draft regulations to remove certain performance fees from the scope of the DC charge cap, as part of its drive to encourage investment to scale up the UK’s science and technology firms.

Dates for your diary

Pensions Academy Online: week commencing 31 October 2022

We will be running our next Pensions Academy Online (an update on issues for pension schemes and the people that run them) on 31 October, 2 November and 4 November, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Sessions will cover a range of issues currently on schemes’ agendas including the single code, dashboards, transfer issues and a general legal update. A separate mailing with full details will be sent shortly.

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