Welcome to DLA Piper’s Pensions News publication in which we report on recent developments in pensions legislation, guidance and case law, as well as keeping you up to speed on what to look out for in the coming months.

This edition brings you the developments from February 2014 including the following.

- Automatic enrolment: the response to the part of the March 2013 consultation on technical amendments to the legislation that addressed the possible introduction of exceptions to the duties; and the publication of draft regulations amending the legislation on revaluation of average salary benefits and to clarify the position on the phasing in of contributions to hybrid schemes.

- The Pensions Regulator: the publication of a scheme assessment template and governance statement template which trustees can use to assess their scheme against the 31 DC quality features and report compliance.

- PPF: a booklet about how to reduce the pension protection levy; and FAQs on asset-backed contributions.

- Legislation: the addition of clauses to the Pensions Bill (i) to state that the statutory override allowing employers to adjust contributions or accrual to offset additional National Insurance costs following the end of contracting-out cannot be used in relation to protected persons; and (ii) to provide for disclosure of transaction costs.

- Case law: the outcome of the Employment Appeal Tribunal hearing about whether schemes can restrict benefits payable to civil partners to service on and after 5 December 2005.

- HMRC: an update to HMRC’s policy on reclaiming VAT on investment management services in light of a July 2012 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

- Other News: an update from the Pensions Ombudsman about the complaints it has received concerning pension liberation; the final version of new guidance on Statutory Money Purchase Illustrations to reflect changes to the disclosure regulations; and the outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority’s thematic review of annuities.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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