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Pensions: What's new this week - 3 August 2020

Each week the Allen & Overy Pensions team, rounds up the latest legal and regulatory developments in the world of occupational pensions. Contact us if you would like to receive our podcast summary, or our full briefing by email, at the start of each week. Read the latest edition of 'What's new this week' below to find out more information on the stories that matter to you. 


PLSA: guidance on implementation statements

The PLSA has published a practical guide for trustees of both DB and DC/hybrid schemes to support the production of their first implementation statements from 1 October 2020 onwards. The guide recognises that schemes will need to take a pragmatic and proportionate approach and that good practice will evolve over time; its content may help to establish an industry baseline for expectations around this new disclosure requirement.

The PLSA also plans to publish a Voting Reporting Template and guidance in August, aiming to help asset managers provide comparable and consistent information to trustees, and to support trustees in meeting disclosure requirements on voting behaviour.

New inquiry into pension scams

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into pension scams, as the first part of a three-part inquiry into the impact of the pension freedoms and the protection of pension savers.

The Committee is seeking input on issues in relation to scams, including: the prevalence of scams and current trends; common outcomes for perpetrators and victims; the role of the pensions industry in preventing pension scams; HMRC’s position on the tax treatment of victims, and additional measures that could be taken to prevent scammers and help individuals.

The deadline for written submissions is 9 September 2020.

ICO statement on Schrems II decision

We reported recently on the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the ‘Schrems II’ litigation on international transfers of personal data. The CJEU ruled that the EU-US Privacy Shield is invalid but upheld the general validity of the EC standard contractual clauses (SCCs) for cross-border data transfers.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published an updated statement highlighting the publication by the European Data Protection Board of FAQs on the invalidation of the Privacy Shield and the implications for SCCs. In particular, the ICO notes the EDPB’s recommendation that data controllers should conduct a risk assessment as to whether the local legal framework in any third country (not just the US) to which transfers are made may prevent SCCs from being effective in practice. You can read more on this from our data protection experts here and here.

TPR: focus on diversity and inclusion

TPR’s latest blog post focuses on the benefits of diversity on trustee boards, noting changes in the pension savings landscape brought about by auto-enrolment, and the benefits of diverse experiences in improving member engagement and other areas.

PLSA seeks input on DC decumulation reform

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched a call for evidence on DC decumulation, and is recommending the introduction of a new regulatory regime including a statutory obligation for schemes to support members with decumulation decisions. The proposal is that schemes would be required to provide support that meets minimum standards on member engagement and communications, the provision or signposting of decumulation products and processes relating to the design and/or selection and ongoing delivery of these.

The PLSA is seeking feedback; the call for evidence closes on 4 September 2020.