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
On 11 November 2022, TPR, the FCA and MaPS issued a warning to pension scheme trustees and savers of a potential increased risk from scammers due to economic volatility. While they have not yet seen evidence of an increase in pension scams, the organisations are concerned that fears over the economy, such as recent extreme movements in gilt yields, may prompt members to incorrectly decide there is a risk to their pension and make rushed decisions which could be exploited by scammers.
Trustees should follow best practice in protecting members from scams, including warning members of the heightened risk of scams in times of uncertainty and providing them with some of the common signs of a scam.
On 10 November 2022, the DWP published a press release marking 10 years since the introduction of AE. According to official statistics, since AE has been in force, the total annual workplace pension contribution of all private sector eligible employees has increased in real terms from £41.5 billion in 2012 to £62.3 billion in 2021, and pension participation by eligible employees has increased across every industry.
The DWP confirmed it is “exploring” how to expand the scope of AE by abolishing the lower limit on “qualifying earnings” (the band of earnings on which contributions can be calculated), and reducing the eligible age for AE from 22 to 18. However, no timeframe has been given as to when any changes may be brought into force.