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

Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 to come into force on 12 December 2022

The Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022 were made on 21 November 2022 and will come into force on 12 December 2022. The final regulations set out, among other things, trustees’ and pension providers’ obligations in respect of pensions dashboards. See our Alert for more details.

Trustees should continue with their dashboard preparations and can use TPR’s guidance and checklist to help with this.

PDP publishes updated pensions dashboards standards

On 21 November 2022, the PDP published its response to its consultation on draft standards, along with an updated suite of standards. The standards outline the mandatory requirements for dashboard providers, trustees and pension providers, setting out how operationally, technically and in practice they must meet their legislative duties. The standards will come into force following formal approval by the Secretary of State, which is expected “in the coming weeks”. See our Alert for more details.

TPR launches consultation on draft dashboards compliance and enforcement policy

On 24 November 2022, TPR launched its consultation on its draft dashboards compliance and enforcement policy. The policy sets out TPR’s expectations for trustees when complying with their dashboard duties under the pensions dashboard regulations (see above), as well as intending to provide clarity on its approach to enforcing breaches of legislation.

TPR is aware that delivering dashboards is a “huge challenge” for the industry and will take a “pragmatic” approach to compliance. However, it will take a “robust enforcement approach” where it sees “wilful or reckless non-compliance”. Breaches that are persistent, intentional or indicate dishonesty are likely to be a higher priority. The draft policy includes some example scenarios to illustrate how TPR’s approach might work in practice.

In terms of compliance with the regulations, TPR expects trustees to:

  • have implemented TPR guidance, as well as PDP’s standards and guidance
  • operate adequate internal controls, and
  • review and assess the quality of their data and put adequate control around them for “continuous improvement”.

Trustees should keep “clear audit trails” of the steps they take to comply with their duties, as well as keeping records of compliance, steps taken to resolve issues with third parties, their matching policy and steps taken to improve their data.

The consultation closes on 24 February 2023 and TPR is aiming to publish the final policy in spring 2023.

Productive Finance Working Group publishes guides on key considerations for DC investment in illiquid assets

The Productive Finance Working Group published new guides on 24 November 2022, intended to help give DC scheme trustees, sponsoring employers and investment consultants “the tools to consider investing in [less liquid assets] such as venture capital, private equity, private credit, real estate, and infrastructure, where appropriate and in scheme members’ best interests”. Key issues discussed by the guides include value for money, performance fees, and liquidity management.

TPR publishes blog on equality, diversity and inclusion

On 22 November 2022, TPR published a blog on equality, diversity and inclusion (“EDI”). This follows publication of TPR’s EDI Strategy, and recent action plan. Through supervision TPR has encouraged schemes to “explore ways they can gather, interpret and use data to bring about change across their organisations”, and is aware that “many trustees are showing increasing willingness to embrace diversity and inclusion”. TPR also confirms that it will be providing practical tools on recruiting diverse candidates, creating and maintaining an inclusive culture, engaging with employers on diversity and ensuring communications to scheme savers are inclusive.

Revaluation Order 2022 published

The annual Revaluation Order was laid before Parliament on 25 November 2022 and will come into force on 1 January 2023. It sets out the revaluation required in respect of a deferred member’s benefits (in excess of GMP) for deferred members who will reach normal pension age in 2023.

FCA finalises rules for British Steel Pension Scheme (“BSPS”) consumer redress scheme

On 28 November 2022, the FCA published final rules for the BSPS consumer redress scheme which will provide compensation to former BSPS members who received unsuitable advice to transfer-out. The scheme will start on 28 February 2023. By 28 March 2023, adviser firms must write to all BSPS consumers to explain whether they are within scope of the scheme, and if so that their transfer advice will be reviewed unless the consumer opts-out.