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
- Retained EU Law Bill receives Royal Assent
- FCA widens access to Long Term Asset Funds (“LTAFs”)
- FCA updates firms on consumer duty
- PLSA publishes guidance on the LGPS
The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 29 June 2023. Before being enacted, the draft legislation was amended to remove a provision which could have resulted in a large volume of EU-derived UK law being revoked at the end of 2023. Instead, the Act lists specific secondary legislation which will be revoked at the end of 2023, as well as making various changes to retained EU law, including as to how EU-derived case law is treated by UK courts.
The list of legislation to be revoked does not include any pensions-specific law. We understand the Government is currently considering what effects of EU-derived case law, including pensions case law, it intends to preserve.
On 29 June 2023, the FCA published the response to its consultation on broadening the retail and pension scheme access to LTAFs (see 7 Days), alongside final rules and guidance which came into force on 3 July 2023. LTAFs are FCA-regulated funds designed to help schemes invest in various relatively illiquid assets. Providers may now make LTAFs available to DC self-select funds, SIPPs and other mass market retail investors, subject to FCA authorisation.
The FCA is also seeking views by 10 August 2023 on whether the protections of the FSCS should be available for this product.
Ahead of the consumer duty coming into force on 31 July 2023, the FCA published a news update highlighting its expectation that boards or equivalent management bodies have clear oversight of consumer duty implementation plans, and setting out 10 key questions for firms to consider from its finalised guidance.
On 28 June 2023, the FOS published a speech on what the consumer duty means for resolving financial complaints. While the FOS does not expect the consumer duty to have a significant impact on complaint volumes, it may impact the types of complaints received. For example, it may lead to more complaints about the use of products and services, and their price and value. The FOS plans to continue to share information about its approach and application to complaints “throughout the year”.
On 27 June 2023, the PLSA published an updated version of its 2017 best practice guide for employers participating in the LGPS. The guide is intended to help participating employers understand and fulfil their obligations, including in relation to governance processes, financial and risk management, and contract management. The updated version includes new sections on the IDRP and the benefits of being an LGPS employer.
The PLSA has also published a “regulatory map” of the LGPS, to help members and external stakeholders “understand and navigate the complexities in which the LGPS operates”. It includes an overview of “the most pertinent issues funds are facing” and the entities responsible for those areas.