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
- FSCS funding, and final levy for 2018/19
- HMRC Pension Schemes Newsletter 98 published – and update on TRS registration
- PPI report published
- TPR to seize assets of employers that refuse to pay fines
- TPR publishes blog on data sharing and pension scams
- Grenville Hampshire v the Board of the Pension Protection Fund (Advocate General’s Opinion)
The FSCS has announced its final levy for 2018/19.
The press release confirms that the levy will be £71m more than the FSCS forecast in its Plan and Budget 2018/19 in January, with the levy on life and pensions advisers increasing by £52m.
The main reason for the increase is said to be the rise in DB pension transfer claims, and includes £10m that the FSCS has set aside to pay for claims against a number of IFAs, including in the context of the British Steel Pension Scheme.
A full explanation of the 2018/19 annual levy is contained in the latest FSCS industry newsletter.
The FCA has also published final rules to change how the FSCS is funded, following its October 2017 consultation. This includes increasing the FSCS compensation limit for investment provision, investment intermediation, home finance and debt management claims to £85,000 (from £50,000) from April 2019.
HMRC published Pension Schemes Newsletter 98 on 3 May 2018.
Among other things, it includes information on:
- the latest official statistics on flexible payments from pensions
- relief at source arrangements and further tax issues in relation to Scottish Income Tax
- the continued unavailability of the online annual allowance calculator
The Newsletter also confirms that the launch of the new “Manage and Register Pension Schemes” service, due today (8 May 2018), has been delayed until 4 June 2018. The new service will be formed when HMRC’s existing pension scheme registration and administration function is moved to a digital platform, which designed to improve the service for pension scheme administrators. A further bespoke newsletter will be released in due course to provide further details of the service and supporting guidance. As a result of this delay, the current Pension Schemes Online service will continue to be available until 6pm on 1 June 2018.
Finally, the Newsletter confirms a change in policy in relation to HMRC’s trust registration service (“TRS”) in relation to pension schemes, which is aimed at reducing the administrative burden on trustees.
The guidance (which we still await) is being amended to confirm that, where a registered pension scheme is an express trust registered with HMRC’s pension scheme online service, scheme trustees do not need to register separately on the TRS. (Schemes do however need to keep all information required under Money Laundering legislation in their own written records, and provide it to HMRC if required).
Schemes which incur a liability to UK tax in relation to trust assets or income, and are not already registered with HMRC, will need still to register on the TRS.
The Newsletter provides advice for those schemes that choose to register on TRS.
In addition, HMRC has advised that pension schemes that have now registered on the TRS, but which were already registered on HMRC’s pension scheme online service, do not need to make any further changes to the data on the TRS. Schemes can call HMRC’s Trust Helpline to ask for the entry to be removed from the TRS, but HMRC has stated that this functionality is currently unavailable and will only be available in the (non-specified) future.
The PPI published a report on 8 May 2018 on the evolving retirement landscape. The report is the first in a series of two, and explores the ways in which the retirement landscape has changed since the pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015, and what this might mean for future retirees.
TPR has issued a press release stating that employers that refuse to pay workplace pension fines could have their assets seized to pay their debts.
TPR is appointing High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEOs”) to enforce court orders in England and Wales (and the equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland) on those employers that refuse or fail to comply with their automatic enrolment duties and subsequent fines. TPR has said that it will also consider whether it should prosecute employers that remain non-compliant with their automatic enrolment duties despite being given a court order demanding they pay the fines they have incurred.
HCEOs will also be used to collect payment for other fines or levies issued by TPR that trustees or trust managers fail to pay, such as for non-compliance with the requirements for DC chairs’ statements and scheme return offences.
TPR has published a blog looking at recent cases of pension fraud. The post, written by TPR’s Head of Intelligence, Mike Broomfield, reminds individuals of the need for vigilance in relation to personal data, and against potential scams.
Advocate General Kokott (“the AG”) has given her opinion to the CJEU in relation to a case regarding the level of PPF compensation.
Mr Hampshire had challenged the level of compensation he was entitled to from the PPF, following the insolvency of his employer. In the opinion of the Court of Appeal, several issues of EU law needed clarification, and therefore it referred certain questions to the CJEU.
For further details, please see our case report.