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

Parliament prorogued ahead of general election

On 24 May 2024, Parliament was “prorogued” ahead of the general election on 4 July 2024. Prorogation marks the end of a parliamentary session and brings an end to nearly all parliamentary business. This leaves considerable uncertainty as to the timing of expected pensions developments, including the further set of tax regulations to address issues following removal of the LTA, and publication of TPR’s DB funding code.

Progress with the Mansion House reforms, including the VFM framework for DC schemes and a new DC decumulation framework, may depend on the priorities of the next Government. We wait to see what pensions measures are in the political parties’ manifestos.

In the meantime, the PLSA has published its suggested pensions priorities for the first 100 days of the next Government.

TPR sets out its regulatory priorities

In a speech published on 22 May 2024, Nausicaa Delfas, Chief Executive of TPR, set out TPR’s “regulatory roadmap” to achieve its aims of:

  • driving VFM in DC schemes
  • securing the future for DB schemes
  • raising standards across all scheme types, specifically asking trustees to focus on data quality and administration in the run up to pensions dashboards deadlines.

In relation to DC schemes, TPR is scrutinising compliance by smaller schemes with the VfM requirements, and “evolving” its approach to master trust supervision with greater focus on investments and “using data and disclosure as the prompt for a nuanced discussion around what [master trusts] are aiming for”.

TPR is intending to clarify its expectations of DB trustees when considering the future of their schemes in the forthcoming DB funding code, and is expecting to publish guidance later this year to help schemes consider “the full range of alternative models” for end game solutions.

TPO publishes blog on plans to tackle caseload and reduce waiting times

On 21 May 2024, TPO published a blog outlining three areas it will be prioritising to tackle its historical caseload and reduce queue lengths and waiting times:

  • tightening the conditions that must be met for TPO’s Resolution Team to investigate a complaint and requiring complainants to demonstrate that they have exhausted their scheme’s IDRP first
  • extending the use of short-form decisions and determinations for appropriate cases
  • exploring whether there are certain categories of complaints that are more appropriately dealt with by other organisations and whether a de minimis threshold should be applied in some circumstances.

TPO’s “full programme of changes” is scheduled to be delivered over the next three years, but with the aim of achieving an “improved position over the next 12 – 18 months”.