Pensions: DC Trustee agenda update - current legal issues for June 2022 meetings

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Welcome to our monthly update on current legal issues, 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.

‘Stronger nudge’ requirements REMINDER

From 1 June 2022 trustees will be required to give members a ‘stronger nudge’ to obtain pensions guidance. Among other things, this means that schemes will be required to offer to book a Pension Wise appointment for members over 50 who want to access flexible benefits.

TPR has updated its guidance for DC schemes on communicating and reporting, to reflect the new requirements. Read the regulations and TPR’s guidance.

ACTION: Check with your administrators that processes are in place to ensure compliance from 1 June.

TPR guidance on Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued guidance for trustees regarding Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, setting out its expectations in light of volatility in investment markets and an expected period of heightened uncertainty. It includes a number of action points for trustees to consider. Read the guidance.

ACTION: Review TPR’s guidance and consider whether there are any action points for your scheme; keep a watching brief on developments.

TPR climate change example

TPR has published an illustrative example of how trustees might work through the requirements of the climate change governance and reporting regulations (which have applied to schemes with GBP5 billion+ of relevant assets since 1 October 2021 and will apply to those with GBP1 billion+ from 1 October 2022). The guidance emphasises that this is not a one-size-fits-all checklist, but it will give schemes a good idea of TPR’s expectations. Read the example and watch our climate change governance and reporting webinar.

ACTION: Check your processes against the example to identify any areas which may need further attention.

Have your say

  • TPR has launched a consultation on a new enforcement policy, consolidating and simplifying existing policies for DB, DC, hybrid and public service pension schemes, as well as a prosecution policy updated to reflect TPR’s new powers under the Pension Schemes Act 2021. The consultation closes on 24 June 2022: read more.

Watch this space

  • TPR has consulted on its proposed single code of practice: watch our webinar on the proposals; read TPR’s interim response. The interim response noted that TPR does not expect to lay the new code in parliament before spring 2022. It is, therefore, unlikely to become effective before summer 2022.
  • A call for evidence on decumulation in occupational schemes is expected shortly, covering areas including whether there is a need to require investment pathways (offering a range of investment plans based on what a member intends to do with their pension pot).
  • A revised code on transfers, and other materials from the Pension Scams Industry Group, are expected in June.
  • Regulations to replace the current regime on strategic objectives for investment consultancy providers and competitive tenders for fiduciary management services are now expected in the first half of 2022.

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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