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

PDP publishes information about its “standards” on pensions dashboards

To support stakeholders wishing to respond to the consultation on pensions dashboards (see our Alert), the PDP has published information about the scope of its standards, which will sit alongside the regulations.  The information also includes detail on how the PDP will go about setting the standards, with some indicative examples of what they might contain.

The PDP has also:

  • published a blog discussing the progress that has been made during the “discovery phase” and what will happen during its initial (alpha) test phase
  • appointed its interim identity service provider.

Documents for transferring personal data outside of the UK laid before Parliament

On 2 February 2022, the International Data Transfer Agreement (“IDTA”) and the international data transfer addendum to the European Commission’s standard contractual clauses were laid before Parliament.  If no objections are raised, they will come into force on 21 March 2022.

These documents will be of use to organisations transferring personal data outside of the UK. They will replace the current standard contractual clauses for international transfers and take into account the CJEU’s judgment  in Schrems II.

The ICO has confirmed it will publish additional tools to provide support and guidance to organisations soon.

ABI, IA and PLSA launch new carbon emissions template

A new template to help pension schemes calculate their carbon emissions was launched on 31 January 2022. The Carbon Emissions Template (“CET”) is a result of a collaboration between the ABI, the IA and the PLSA.  It provides a standardised set of data that pension schemes need to calculate their emissions, and is intended to help schemes better understand the environmental impact of their investments.

The template comes in response to new requirements placed on pension schemes to obtain data and calculate their emissions as a step towards identifying and assessing the climate-related risks and opportunities they face (see our Alert).

New research finds that many older DC pensions deliver poor value for money

New research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on 1 February 2022 has found that:

  • many deferred pensions held by a sample of those in their 50s are in schemes with charges that are high relative to current market standards
  • deferred pensions started longer ago typically have higher fees than pensions started more recently, and these differences do not look justified by better performance.

These findings are timely given the recent introduction of “more holistic” value for money assessments for smaller DC schemes (see our Alert).

Order setting out PPF levy ceiling published

On 2 February 2022, an Order was published which specifies the PPF levy ceiling for 2022/23. For the levy year starting on 1 April 2022, the overall PPF levy ceiling will rise from £1,099,445,505 to £1,178,605,581, reflecting the increase in average weekly earnings of 7.2% over the review period of 12 months to 31 July 2021.

The levy ceiling is used to control the maximum amount of levy the PPF can charge eligible DB pension schemes.  However, the estimated amount that the PPF will need to raise through the levy for the same 2022/23 period is much less than the levy ceiling in the Order (see our Alert).

PPF launches PPF+ advisory panel

On 1 February 2022, the PPF launched a new specialist panel that will provide transaction advice to schemes in PPF assessment which are overfunded on a PPF basis (PPF+). The PPF+ Advisory Panel will provide core services to PPF+ schemes including: “Transaction Adviser, Scheme Actuary and Investment Support”, with the aim of driving down timescales and costs in the longer term.