Pensions: what's new this week 31 July 2023
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Welcome to your weekly update from the Allen & Overy Pensions team, covering all the latest legal and regulatory developments in the world of workplace pensions.
This week we cover topics including: TPR blog post: schemes should encourage mid-life MOTs; Court case on contracted-out scheme amendments: update; Dashboards amendment regulations; PASA updated guidance on dashboards data accuracy.
TPR blog post: schemes should encourage mid-life MOTs
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a blog post asking schemes to encourage their members to use the government’s new enhanced digital Midlife MOT. The digital Midlife MOT brings together services, tools and resources from the NHS, Money Helper, Mind, Citizens Advice and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Its aim is to help people in their 40s and 50s to plan for their future, focusing on finances, skills and health. In relation to pensions, the service provides basic information and allows users to check their state pension age, find any lost pension pots, establish their ideal retirement income and go through a step-by-step guide to boosting their pension and planning their retirement income.
TPR encourages schemes to signpost the new service to their members, suggesting that schemes focus on those between 45 and 55 years old; fully integrate the Midlife MOT into the support already offered; and provide a specific link to the Midlife MOT, so that the DWP can capture where visitors are being referred from.
Court case on contracted-out scheme amendments: update
Virgin Media has been granted permission to appeal the recent court decision which found that amendments to its contracted-out salary-related pension scheme were invalid because an actuarial confirmation had not been obtained (read more).
Dashboards amendment regulations
The Pensions Dashboards (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have been made and will come into force on 9 August 2023. The regulations replace the staged timetable for scheme connection to dashboards with a single connection deadline – 31 October 2026 – by which all schemes must be connected. A staging timetable will be set out in guidance, which the regulations require schemes to have regard to.
Any schemes wishing to request a deferred connection, which may be possible in limited circumstances, will now have until 8 August 2024 (12 months from the coming into force of the regulations) to apply. The dates for testing whether the requirements apply to a scheme (for example, where a new scheme has been established) have also been pushed back.
PASA updated guidance on dashboards data accuracy
The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA) has published updated guidance for schemes on improving the accuracy of dashboards data. The guidance discusses member existence checks, use of third parties, address validation and member duplications.