Pensions: Joint DB & DC trustee agenda update - November 2023

Welcome to our monthly update on current legal issues for trustees of DB and hybrid pension schemes, designed to help you stay up to date with key developments between trustee meetings, and to support the legal update item on your next trustee agenda. We also have a separate DC-only briefing. 

International data transfers

Schemes that transfer personal data outside the EEA in reliance on standard contractual clauses (SCCs) may need to update their contracts before 21 March 2024. Two new documents replaced the former SCCs and were required for agreements entered into after 21 September 2022. Transitional arrangements in relation to earlier agreements end on 21 March 2024, meaning that such agreements need to be revisited (read more).

ACTION: Make sure any SCCs used by you or your administrator/other third parties are updated.

Dashboards update UPDATED

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a blog post encouraging schemes to prepare for pensions dashboards and, in particular, to use its dashboards preparation checklist (read more). The DWP has updated its guidance for schemes seeking a deferral of their connection deadline (read more).

ACTION: Continue preparation for pensions dashboards, in line with the guidance.

Guidance on knock-on impacts of public service discrimination (McCloud) remedy NEW

HMRC has published guidance for private sector schemes on potential knock-on impacts of the government’s remedy for age discrimination in public service pension schemes (the McCloud remedy). If an individual is affected by the McCloud remedy and has had a benefit crystallisation event (BCE) in a private sector scheme, this could result in an altered lifetime allowance charge, meaning the BCE may need to be revisited (read more).

ACTION: Ensure administrators are prepared to process queries from any affected members.

Climate scenario analysis

TPR has published a blog post with expectations of trustees using climate scenario analysis, including reviewing the analysis and adding commentary to reports or board minutes (read more).

ACTION: Review your climate scenario analysis and consider whether additional commentary needs to be recorded. 

PLSA guidance on pension sharing charges

The PLSA has revised its guidance on processing pension sharing orders on divorce, with updated suggested ranges for charges and a flowchart on when charges can be made (read more).

ACTION: Check your pension sharing processes and charges against the guidance.

PASA guidance on DB benefit accuracy

PASA has published guidance aimed at helping DB schemes to ensure benefit accuracy. The guidance sets out suggestions for benefit specifications, data specifications, benefit audit and automation of calculations and processes (read more).

ACTION: Consider the suggested actions.

Updated TPR guidance on regulated apportionment arrangements (RAAs)

TPR has published updated guidance on RAAs. The new guidance is generally consistent with TPR’s existing approach but is considerably more detailed than the previous publications and includes some strengthening of expectations for approval of an RAA (read more).

ACTION: Take the guidance into account if considering an RAA.

Updated TPR DB superfunds guidance

TPR has updated its guidance for DB superfunds and for employers and trustees considering a superfund transfer (read more).

ACTION: Consult the updated guidance if you are considering a transfer to a DB superfund.

Have your say

  • The DWP has published a consultation on proposed changes to the structure and rates of the General Levy (the levy paid by registrable occupational and personal pension schemes), to address a growing funding deficit. The consultation ends on 13 November 2023 (read more).
  • The DWP’s Taskforce on Social Factors is seeking input on draft guidance for pension scheme trustees aimed at enabling them to identify and monitor social risks and opportunities and embed these factors within investment decisions and stewardship policies (read more).

Watch this space

  • The launch of the new DB funding code and regulatory framework has been postponed to April 2024 (read more).
  • The government has consulted on changes to the notifiable events regime. There is currently no revised date for the delayed regulations (read more).
  • TPR has consulted on its proposed single code of practice (to be known as the General Code): watch our webinar on the proposals and read TPR’s interim response. Publication of the revised version of the code is expected soon.

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Content Disclaimer
This content was originally published by Allen & Overy before the A&O Shearman merger