Pensions UK: What's new this week - 19 April 2021
19 April 2021
Welcome to your weekly update from the Allen & Overy Pensions team, covering all the latest legal and regulatory developments in the world of occupational pensions.
This week we cover topics including updates to TPR’s Covid-19 auto-enrolment guidance; rectification to restore missing words: Iggesund; and forthcoming events – the A&O Debate and Pensions Academy Online.
- Covid-19: TPR updates auto-enrolment guidance
- Rectification granted to restore missing words: Iggesund v Messenger
- A&O Debate, 29 April 2021: Equalising past transfers-out - do trustees really need to do it?
- Pensions Academy Online: week commencing 10 May 2021
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has updated its Covid-19 guidance on auto-enrolment, to reflect the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until September 2021. Under the extended CJRS employers are required to pay National Insurance contributions and pension contributions. From July, an escalating employer contribution is being introduced towards the wage costs of furloughed staff.
The High Court has ordered rectification of a 2004 deed to re-insert words that were omitted in error when the rules were amended, and that provide for an index other than RPI to be applied to pension increases based on the advice of the scheme actuary. The application for rectification was not contested, and the court regarded it as ‘the clearest possible case for rectification of a pension deed based on an omission that was not noted by any of the persons involved’: Iggesund Paperboard (Workington) Ltd v Messenger.
The ruling notes as good practice the fact that the scheme administrators had consulted members on the proposal to amend the deed and rules. Two responses from members were considered during the court hearing; both members said that they would be materially affected by the order for rectification. The court noted that if a remedy was available to these members, it should be sought via the Pensions Ombudsman, but also that member detriment was not a bar to the claim for rectification. The court could have made a qualified rectification order exempting those members, or made other provision in relation to them, but Chief Master Marsh concluded that this was not justified and that it was appropriate to make an absolute order for rectification in this case.
We are delighted to invite you to be part of an audience of trustees and advisers for a debate that cuts to the heart of the complex topic of applying GMP equalisation to historic transfers-out. Does the Lloyds ruling require trustees to do it? Are they liable if they don’t? Is it practically feasible? Is it economically viable?
You’ll hear our experts debate both sides of the argument and have the chance to put your own questions to our speakers before casting your vote – join us at 5.30pm on 29 April for an entertaining and insightful event under the ‘Chatham House’ rule. If you would like to submit any questions ahead of time then you will find an option to do that on the RSVP form.
Please click here for more information and to register.
Our next Pensions Academy sessions will take place online from 9.30 – 10.30am on the following dates:
- 10 May – Governance: new Code, new practices
TPR is consulting on a 'single Code of Practice' which should eventually consolidate existing Codes and guidance. But the draft Code doesn't just consolidate – it adds or increases new regulatory expectations in some areas, and it deals with entirely new requirements including the formalisation of a risk management function for each pension scheme, and the requirement to perform regular 'own-risk assessments'. We'll guide you through the changes and help you prepare for the new requirements.
- 12 May – Pension scheme investing: the sustainability revolution
Pension scheme investment decisions have been an area of increasing regulatory focus in recent years, but the TCFD-style reporting requirements that are due to affect some schemes from 1 October 2021 are probably the most significant change yet. Experts from our investment team will guide you through the changes they are seeing in this area of increasing public interest and political attention.
- 14 May – Legal update: what’s now and what’s next?
It's already been a busy year for consultations and new developments but there's much more to come as the government and regulators work through their 2020 backlog. Members of our pensions team will update you on the current state of play and what's on the horizon to shape your future agenda.
Please click here to register for any of these webinars.