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

Alex Burghart confirmed as Minister for Pensions and Growth

Alex Burghart, who was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the DWP on 20 September 2022, has been confirmed as the new Minister for Pensions and Growth. Alex was previously appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education.

TPR publishes statement on managing investment and liquidity risks and WPC correspondence

On 12 October 2022, TPR published a statement setting out the main points it expects trustees to consider in manging investment and liquidity risks in the face of current market conditions. For trustees of DB schemes, this includes engaging with investment advisers to gain an accurate understanding of the scheme’s position and prioritise the key areas of concern, such as operational processes, liquidity, liability hedging and funding. Actions for trustees of DC schemes include reviewing their investment strategy and operational factors in executing this strategy, but while “maintaining a long-term perspective”.

TPR’s response to questions from the WPC regarding the impact on DB schemes of rises in gilt yields was also published on 12 October 2022. TPR confirmed that it continues to work with the Bank of England, other regulators and pension schemes to put in place mitigations for “events that might happen after 14 October” (ie the date that the Bank of England’s temporary purchases of gilts ended (see 7 Days)) and to “assess the impact on DB scheme liquidity”.

DWP responds to second pensions dashboards consultation and publishes draft guidance on deferring staging deadlines

On 17 October 2022, the DWP published a response to the further consultation on the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 (“the Regulations”), concerning the point at which dashboards will be available to the public (“the Dashboards Available Point”), and disclosure of information between MaPS and TPR. After reviewing the consultation responses, the DWP proposes that the notice period for the Dashboards Available Point will be extended to six months, rather than 90 days as initially proposed, to “provide greater certainty for the pensions industry to make final preparations for the public launch” of dashboards. The proposals concerning disclosure of information between MaPS and TPR will proceed as planned.

The response states that the draft Regulations are expected to be laid before Parliament “today”.

The DWP has also published draft guidance setting out the issues trustees should consider if they are applying for a deferral of their scheme’s staging deadline in the limited circumstances where this is available (see our Alert for more details). This guidance will be updated when the final Regulations come into force.