March 2023 pensions update

After the excitement of the funding consultation and the deluge of DC consultations, the pace of developments has slowed (for now!) Partner Georgina Jones sets out her key “need to knows” from the last couple of weeks:

Laura Trott (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions for the DWP) announced a “reset” of the dashboards programme. The DWP plans to legislate “at the earliest opportunity” to amend the timing of the deadlines and “ensure that the pensions industry has adequate time and the necessary technical information to prepare for any revised connection deadlines”. The DWP intends to provide an update on timings before the summer recess (scheduled for 20 July 2023).

The Pensions Dashboards (Prohibition of Indemnification) Bill is progressing. It will expand the scope of the prohibition on trustees / managers of OPSs and PPPs from reimbursing themselves out of scheme assets for fines and civil penalties to include penalties relating to breaches of the pensions dashboards legislation.


The Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) (No 2) Bill is progressing. It would introduce two key recommendations from the 2017 independent review of AE –a reduction of the age threshold for auto-enrolment from 22 to 18 and the abolition of the lower limit of the qualifying earnings band, so that contributions are calculated from the first pound earned. The expectation is that the provisions in this Bill will not result in any immediate change but will give the Secretary of State powers to amend the age limit and lower earnings limit for AE.  There will be a statutory requirement to consult before using these powers.