7 days

7 Days is a weekly round up of developments in pensions, normally published on Monday afternoons. We collate this information from key industry sources, such as the DWP, HMRC and TPR.

In this 7 Days

Updated FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook launched

The new FCA Handbook and PRA Rulebook websites launched on 29 August 2015. The intention behind the redesign of the websites is that they should be cleaner and easier to navigate, concise, and contain extra features including timelines of rule changes.

HMRC: updated list of recognised overseas pension schemes published

HMRC published an updated Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (ROPS) list on 1 September 2015. When the list was relaunched in July 2015 after a temporary suspension, Australia saw the biggest drop in recognised schemes, with 1,599 of 1,600 schemes delisted. In today’s update, the Australian schemes that have “told HMRC they meet the conditions to be a ROPS” have doubled – from one, to two (now to include the ‘P Wyns Age 55 Super Fund (SMSF)’).

For further background detail please see our Alert.

House of Commons Library publishes briefing paper on armed forces pensions

The House of Commons Library published a briefing note on 24 August 2015 in relation to the Armed Forces Pension Schemes. The paper looks at the unfunded DB scheme, its history, reform, and the new scheme introduced on 1 April 2015.

PO issues further guidance in relation to the Firefighters’ and Police pension schemes following Milne determination

On 24 August 2015, following the decision of the PO in Milne v the Government Actuary’s Department (see our 7 Days of 18 May 2015), the PO updated his guidance to members affected by the determination, giving a response to some recurring themes.

The PO’s update confirms:

  • He is satisfied that GAD, the DCLG, and other interested bodies are now considering what steps should be taken to comply with the determination, but that this will take a little time given the complexity and number of cases involved. The PO at present will not deal with enquiries or complaints about the time that is being taken, or suggestions that the authorities will not pay compensation to affected members.
  • That GAD has assured the PO that appropriate redress will be paid, and has prepared tables for use in the calculations and detailed guidance for the affected schemes to enable scheme administrators to review each case and access both the appropriate form of redress and its amount.
  • Complaints have been made that the commutation factors historically used by GAD were incorrect. The PO points out that GAD’s calculation of actuarial factors is not within his jurisdiction and, in any event, it is unlikely that any complaint would be within the three-year time limit.
  • There is nothing to suggest that the decision taken by GAD on the selection of a date for new commutation factors is one that he should interfere with (assuming that he could), and that “unless good reason can be shown, [he] will not deal with such enquiries or complaints”.
  • Interest (if any is determined to be due) on any further payments made as a result of the decision should be at the rate for the time being quoted by the reference banks – which means the rate “should alter as it changes over time”.
  • No further individual complaints or enquiries should be sent to the PO; members are encouraged to speak to their employer or administrator first and then, if unsatisfied, to contact TPAS.

PPF appoints Trevor Welsh as Head of Liability Driven Investment

On 27 August 2015 the PPF announced the appointment of Trevor Welsh (from Aviva Investors) as its Head of Liability Driven Investment (LDI). He will take up the newly created role in October to spearhead the insourcing of the PPF’s LDI management.