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

TPR publishes DC schemes survey results and comments on value in small schemes

On 4 July 2023, TPR published the results of its DC schemes survey carried out between October and December 2022. It found a “lack of awareness from small schemes” around the value for members assessments for schemes with less than £100 million of total assets. TPR aims to address this with its regulatory initiative launched in March.

The survey also found that fewer smaller schemes had devoted time or resources to climate-related risks and opportunities. TPR expects all schemes to “allocate the appropriate amount of time and resources [to] assessing this”.

TPR announces first trustee diversity and inclusion survey

As anticipated in its September 2022 action plan, TPR announced on 5 July 2023 that it is carrying out an anonymous online survey of occupational pension scheme trustees to gather diversity and inclusion data about their scheme’s trustee board. The survey includes questions related to trustees’ protected characteristics, academic and socio-economic backgrounds and work experience, and actions trustees are already taking to ensure diversity and inclusion. TPR intends to use the survey data to “build a picture of trustees’ diversity so [it] can effectively measure [its] progress” in promoting diversity and inclusion.

Email invitations are being sent out this month requesting responses by 4 August 2023.

PPF publishes its sustainability strategy

On 4 July 2023, the PPF published a strategy outlining its sustainability goals, intended to “demonstrate excellence” and provide an example for the wider industry. The strategy covers quantifiable targets across responsible investment, diversity and inclusion, community impact, and operations and supply chains. Targets include achieving net zero in the PPF’s operational supply chain and travel emissions by 2035 or sooner, achieving at least 500 days volunteered across the organisation to support sustainability initiatives, and ensuring at least 80% of the PPF’s “watchlist companies” are making disclosures on emissions.

Industry group launches consultation on voluntary code for ESG data and ratings providers

On 5 July 2023, the ESG Data and Ratings Code of Conduct Working Group launched a consultation on a draft code of conduct for ESG data and ratings providers, recognising that there is an increasing demand for these services. HMT consulted earlier this year on whether ESG ratings providers should be regulated by the FCA, and is considering the feedback received. The FCA commented that, if agreed, this change would take time to implement, and the voluntary code would “play an important role in raising standards in the short-term”.

The consultation on the draft code closes on 5 October 2023, and the final code is expected to be published at the end of 2023.

DWP launches midlife MOT website

On 5 July 2023, the DWP announced the launch of a new “online midlife MOT” website, following initial success launching the midlife MOT in jobcentres across the UK. The service includes a financial tool provided by MoneyHelper to help people identify actions to improve their finances, including pensions.