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
- TPR publishes speech on delivering value for savers
- Government’s long-term investment for technology and science initiative – consultation response and call for proposals
- PLSA publishes summary of its DB Forum
- PLSA publishes “made simple” guide on investment companies
- Pensions Equity Group launched
In a speech given on 23 May 2023, Nausicaa Delfas, TPR’s CEO, discussed value for money (“VFM”), consolidation, trusteeship and governance, and “at retirement” solutions. VFM is a key priority, with TPR wanting the industry to “change its mindset” from “prioritising low costs to putting value first”. A response to the joint consultation on the proposed VFM framework should be published in the summer and TPR believes the framework will help put value first by generating a “virtuous cycle of improvement”.
Poorly performing schemes will continue to be expected to wind up and put their members into a better-run scheme, and TPR will work with the market to address “barriers or practical issues” to doing so.
TPR is currently working with the DWP to “scope a set of reforms” intended to support members to “make good decisions and secure the best retirement for their personal circumstances” as they approach retirement.
Government’s long-term investment for technology and science initiative – consultation response and call for proposals
On 26 May 2023, the Government published a response to its consultation on its long-term investment for technology and science (“LIFTS”) initiative. The proposals aim to establish new vehicles to enable investment in UK science and technology companies from institutional investors, particularly DC pension funds. Following a “positive response” to the consultation, the British Business Bank published a call for proposals for new funds or investment structures that could be used to meet the LIFTS objective.
The Government recognises that “unlocking institutional investment, particularly DC pension capital” is a long-term policy area. It will continue to work on the “wider productive finance agenda”, with further statements on this expected “in the coming months”.
In a document published on 26 May 2023, the PLSA summarised a discussion at its DB Forum earlier this month. This includes comments on trustees’ experience of preparing for a future buy-in or buyout, broken down into practical steps to get their “house in order”, such as getting up to date with pension administration tasks, including GMPs.
The document also considers investment choices in the aftermath of the gilts crisis and how to communicate effectively with members.
The PLSA has published a guide to investment companies in its “made simple” series. The guide explains the characteristics of investment companies and answers key questions trustees may have.
On 24 May 2023, the PLSA announced the launch of the Pensions Equity Group, a coalition of over 20 pension companies and organisations, including Sackers, to help tackle pensions inequalities in the UK.
The group’s objectives include developing a way of consistently measuring pensions inequalities, beginning with the gender pensions gap, and working with the Government and policymakers to achieve positive change.