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

International Data Transfer Agreement comes into force

The International Data Transfer Agreement and the International data transfer addendum to the EU Commission’s standard contractual clauses (see 7 Days) came into force on 21 March 2022. These documents replace the current standard contractual clauses for international transfers and will be of use to organisations transferring personal data outside the UK.

Spring Statement 2022

The Government issued its Spring Statement on 23 March 2022. In relation to pensions, the Government confirmed that:

  • work continues on the charges cap to enable schemes to invest in illiquid assets (see 7 Days)
  • the basic rate of income tax will be reduced from 20% to 19% from April 2024. The level of basic rate income tax relief on contributions to registered pension schemes will reduce accordingly from 20% to 19%
  • the Government will “continue to consider reform to tax reliefs and allowances” with a view to simplifying the tax system, and will confirm its plans ahead of 2024.

Pan-European personal pension product Regulation starts to apply

The Pan-European personal pension product Regulation, which was adopted on 14 June 2019 (see 7 Days), began to apply from 22 March 2022. This is intended to expand the market for personal pensions across the EU.

PASA releases GMP equalisation FAQs guidance

PASA published further GMP equalisation guidance, prepared by the Administration sub-group of the GMP Equalisation Working Group, on 28 March 2022. The new guidance responds to frequently asked questions on the equalisation process, based on the collective view of the group as to good practice. Among other topics, the guidance includes commentary on:

  • whether an LTA check is needed if a member has been underpaid and is receiving an arrears payment and/or an increase in pension
  • member communications and other practicalities in relation to equalising death benefits
  • PAYE tax considerations regarding the payment of arrears and interest.

The guidance will be updated and added to over time.

Further regulations implementing the McCloud judgment

The Police and Firefighters’ Pension Schemes (Amendment) Regulations 2022 were laid before Parliament on 21 March 2022 and come into force on 1 April 2022. The regulations are part of the Government’s continued implementation of the McCloud judgment (and see 7 Days), enable active members of legacy police and firefighters’ pension schemes to move to reformed schemes from 1 April 2022.