Pensions UK: What's new this week - April 2021 #2

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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 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

Covid-19: TPR updates auto-enrolment guidance

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.

Read the Covid-19 auto-enrolment guidance and the Covid-19 technical guidance for large employers.

Rectification granted to restore missing words: Iggesund v Messenger

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.

A&O Debate, 29 April 2021: Equalising past transfers-out - do trustees really need to do it?

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.

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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