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 new consultation on enforcement and prosecution policies

On 4 May 2022, TPR published a consultation on draft enforcement and prosecution policies. These policies have been updated to include the new powers granted to TPR in the PSA21 (see our Alert) and to reflect TPR’s experience from using existing enforcement powers.

The enforcement policy consolidates and replaces the existing DB, DC and public sector enforcement policies, with the aim of making them clearer and easier to navigate. The updated draft prosecution policy includes new sections on how TPR selects cases for investigation and chooses whether to prosecute.

The consultation closes on 24 June 2022. TPR expects to publish the final enforcement and prosecution policies later in 2022.

Alongside this consultation, TPR also issued a response to its consultation published last September on new policies regarding overlapping powers, monetary penalty powers and information gathering. The overlapping powers and information gathering policies are incorporated as chapters in the new draft enforcement policy but are in final form and do not form part of the new consultation. However, the two new policies relating to monetary power (its “High fine policy – avoidance” and “High fines policy – information requirements”)  have been published separately.

TPR announces spot checks of suspect employers

On 5 May 2022, TPR announced that on-site inspections will be carried out over the coming months to detect and confirm non-compliance with employer automatic enrolment duties and to gather insight into employer behaviour. TPR has said it is likely to visit organisations it suspects may not be compliant or who it believes are at risk of becoming non-compliant in the future.

Pensions dashboards – TPR to contact schemes before staging date

In a speech delivered on 28 April 2022, Charles Counsell, the Chief Executive Officer of TPR, confirmed that TPR will write to schemes at least 12 months ahead of their staging date, ie the date by which a scheme is expected to connect to the dashboard ecosystem.  He also noted that their interim guidance on pensions dashboards will be published “shortly”.

T v T (Family Court, 10 November 2021)

The Family Court considered the complex process of valuing benefits for pension sharing orders, in a case which was an “extreme example” of “moving target syndrome”, ie where the value of the ultimate pension being shared differs from expectations. The case also serves as a cautionary tale as to how quickly legal costs can escalate, particularly where parties are being unreasonable (as the member was found to be here) or where they are not fully informed.

For further detail, see our case summary.

Hamill v Lloyds Banking Group Pension Trustees Limited (High Court, 29 March 2022)

In a short judgment, the judge granted the trustee’s application to strike out the member’s claim, on the basis that he had failed to follow the correct process for an appeal from a TPO determination. The member’s own claim for summary judgment, on the basis that he had an unanswerable case, was dismissed as “totally without merit”.

For further detail, see our case summary.