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

EIOPA consults on reporting of occupational pensions information

On 26 July 2017, EIOPA published a consultation on the creation of a single framework for the requests for information on occupational pensions that it makes to national supervisory authorities on a quarterly and annual basis.

EIOPA proposes a comprehensive package of reporting templates, with a view to streamlining all quantitative reporting requirements on occupational pensions. The aim of the proposals is to “increase efficiency and to further strengthen the monitoring and analysis of the European occupational pensions sector”.

The consultation period ends on 27 October 2017.

HMRC publishes new contracting-out Countdown Bulletin

Countdown Bulletin 25, the latest in HMRC’s series to help schemes with the end of DB contracting-out and transitional issues, was published on 24 July 2017.

Among other things, the bulletin covers changes to DWP legislation regarding late payments of contribution equivalent premiums (“CEP”), changes to DWP legislation regarding contracting-out (transfer and transfer payments), and updated information on the Scheme Reconciliation service.

HMRC pension schemes newsletter 89 published

Pension schemes newsletter 89 was published by HMRC on 27 July 2017. Among other things it includes information on:

  • pension flexibility statistics. In the second quarter of 2017, a total of 393,000 flexible payments were made to 200,000 individuals, amounting to a total value of £1,860m. HMRC also made tax repayments of nearly £27 million between April and July 2017 in respect of pension flexibility payments, to members who had been overcharged income tax
  • qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes transfer statistics. 9,700 transfers worth £1,220m were made in the tax year 2016-17 (down from £1,500m in the previous year)
  • relief at source for Scottish Income Tax and the related tax status look up service, and secure data exchange service.

The newsletter also includes a reminder to submit annual returns of individual information, and a note that the launch the Lifetime Allowance look up service, planned for early summer, has been delayed.

Finally, HMRC notes that, starting in April 2018, pension scheme registration and administration will be moved onto a new digital platform (the “Pensions Online Digital Service”). Existing schemes will be migrated from April 2019.

PLSA announces new Chief Executive

On 25 July 2017, the PLSA announced the appointment of Julian Mund, Commercial Services Director and Acting Chief Executive, as its new Chief Executive from 1 August 2017. Joanne Segars stepped down as its Chief Executive with effect from the end of June.

PPI publishes analysis of retirement savers in Wealth and Assets Survey

On 26 July 2017, the PPI published a report titled “An analysis of the retirement savers in the Wealth and Assets Survey”.

Noting that the characteristics of savers have evolved alongside the pensions landscape, the report details observations drawn upon a segmentation of the saving population. It considers their savings and the expectations of their retirement saving.

TPR issues first fine to a public service pension scheme

TPR announced on 27 July 2017 that it had issued its first fine to a public service pension scheme.

TPR issued the fine against the London Borough of Barnet scheme manager for part of the Local Government Pension Scheme, for failing to submit its 2016 scheme return.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation said “We have shown that where managers and trustees are failing with their basic duties, including in large public service schemes such as this one, we will use our powers to intervene”.

A regulatory intervention report outlines the case and action taken by TPR. A TPR case team is continuing to engage with local authority staff to discuss the scheme’s future governance and administration.

Bradbury v British Broadcasting Corporation – 28 July 2017

In the long-running case of Bradbury v BBC, the Court of Appeal has unanimously found that the BBC Pension Scheme’s definition of “Basic Salary” permitted the BBC to determine whether (or how much of) a pay rise counted as “Basic Salary”.  As such, the BBC was entitled to impose a cap on any increase in Basic Salary as part of the process of determining its amount. This overruled the judgment of Warren J at first instance.

The Court also found unanimously (agreeing with Warren J) that the BBC’s actions were not in breach of section 91 (inalienability) or the implied duty of trust and confidence.

Please see our case summary for further detail.