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

TPR publishes its new corporate plan

On 3 May 2024 TPR published its Corporate Plan 2024 to 2027, setting out its priorities for the next three years. Its ultimate “vision” is for there to be fewer, well-run schemes, delivering good outcomes for members, from joining a pension scheme through to retirement. To help achieve this, TPR is planning to:

  • evolve its supervisory approach to master trusts, developing the FCA and TPR VFM framework
  • engage with the market to ensure good quality consolidation vehicles, such as the emergent CDC market
  • in the case of trusteeship, ensure high standards through “closer engagement with the professional trustee industry” and the wider promotion of the general code.

For DB, TPR intends to:

  • provide guidance on capital backed journey plans and to expedite assessment of emerging market propositions, supporting innovation in DB
  • embed the DB funding code and its new regulatory approach to DB funding
  • recognising the challenges related to LDI in 2022, work with other regulators to ensure that the pensions industry does not pose a systemic risk to the wider financial system.

PDP releases updated data standards

On 1 May 2024, the PDP published the updated data standards, which set out the detailed data requirements for finding and viewing pensions information. The PDP originally consulted on draft data standards in 2022 and further engagement with industry took place in 2023, which helped “shape” this latest version.

The other standards (technical, reporting and design standards, as well as a code of connection, made up of security, service and operational standards) are still being “refined” and the PDP intends to publish them once they have been tested and validated with volunteer participants.

All standards are mandatory and subject to final approval by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Removal of the LTA – regulations awaited

The second set of regulations to address remaining issues in the legislation enacting the tax changes that took effect from 6 April 2024 were expected to be laid before Parliament in April but have not yet appeared.

HMRC’s recent newsletter 159 confirms that “[W]here a member requires a payment which is affected by the further regulations and cannot wait until these are introduced due to financial hardship”, administrators should contact HMRC directly.

PSIG launches consultation on its future strategy

PSIG launched a consultation on its future strategy on 1 May 2024.  It aims to understand the perceived value of PSIG, possible future direction and how this could be achieved. It is comprised of two parts, the first covering the potential value offered by PSIG and the second covering potential funding options.

The consultation is aimed at pension trustees, advisers and administrators as well anyone else with an “interest in protecting pension scheme members from scams” and closes on 31 July 2024.

Mr E – defences to recovery of overpayments

TPO has partially upheld a complaint concerning an overpayment, where it determined that it would not be equitable for the trustees to recoup certain overpayments, noting that the member had spent the overpayments irreversibly on an improved standard of living and would suffer detriment if they had to repay them.  The determination gives a useful analysis of the possible defences available to members where trustees seek to recoup overpayments from future pension instalments, comparing these to the defences members could raise against a claim seeking direct repayment of the overpaid sums.

See our case summary for more detail.