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

General election update

The general election on 8 June 2017 resulted in a hung Parliament, with no party winning the 326 seats needed to get an overall majority in the House of Commons. Theresa May remains Prime Minister. She plans to form a minority government, and is reported to be working with the Democratic Unionist Party for support.

The effect of the result on pension policy remains to be seen.

On 11 June 2017, it was announced that the Rt Hon David Gauke MP has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the post-election cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Gauke has been MP for South West Hertfordshire since 2005 and replaces Damian Green, who has been given the role of First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Richard Harrington currently continues in his role as pensions minister.

HMRC republishes ROPS list

Following its recent suspension, HMRC’s recognised overseas pension scheme (“ROPS”) notification list was finally republished on 7 June 2017 (two days later than planned). Some 66 schemes were added to the list, one amended and 62 removed.

Routine updating of the ROPS list is due to recommence on 15 June 2017.

PASA launches third tranche of guidance on GMP reconciliation

The Pensions Administration Standards Association (“PASA”), has released its third tranche of guidance for schemes in relation to GMP reconciliation. This tranche covers the approach to reconciliation for scheme members who have an entitlement to a GMP and were in active membership at the point DB contracting out ceased on 5 April 2016.

PASA released its second tranche of guidance on GMP reconciliations in February 2016, following the first tranche which was published in January 2016.

Matt Ashton-Smith, a member of the PASA GMP working group noted that the latest guidance “takes PASA members through the various steps they need to go through in order to support what HMRC expects them to do at this point”.

PASA say that they will continue to monitor issues in relation to GMP reconciliation and rectification, publishing further guidance on new developments or specific issues when relevant.

TPR carries out automatic enrolment spot checks

On 6 June 2017, TPR announced that it was carrying out “spot checks” to ensure employers are complying with their automatic enrolment duties.

Inspection teams visited businesses in Greater Manchester to check that qualifying staff are being given the workplace pensions they are entitled to. The move is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign, which began in London, to ensure employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly. Visits will begin in other towns and cities across the UK in the following weeks.