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The Pensions Brief: May 2022 – Employee Benefits & Compensation



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Issues affecting all schemes

Queen’s Speech 2022

The
Queen’s Speech
did not announce any specific pensions
legislation, but did announce various pieces of legislation which
will be relevant to pension schemes. In particular, a Data Reform
Bill was announced that will make changes to the UK’s data
protection regime. The announcement follows a consultation in 2021
which, among other things, proposed removing or reducing
documentation and governance requirements for businesses such as
the need to:

  • Appoint a data protection officer.

  • Undertake data protection impact assessments.

  • Keep records of processing activities.

The government has not yet responded to this consultation. For
more information on the data protection aspects of the Queen’s
Speech, please see our
legal update
.

Action

Trustees and administrators should keep the progress of the Data
Reform Bill under review.

Pensions Regulator – enforcement

The Pensions Regulator is
consulting
on:

  • A new scheme management enforcement
    policy
    – this consolidates and updates the current
    enforcement policies for DB, DC, hybrid and public sector
    schemes.

  • A revised and updated prosecution
    policy
    .

The new policies are intended to be clearer and more
streamlined. The consultation closes on 24 June.

The Regulator has also
responded
to its consultation on new policies on overlapping
powers, high monetary penalty powers and information-gathering
powers. The finalised high monetary penalty powers policies have
also been published:


  • High fines (avoidance)
    – this provides guidance on the
    Regulator’s approach to monetary penalties for avoidance-type
    breaches and failure to pay a contribution notice.


  • High fines (information requirements)
    – this provides
    guidance on the Regulator’s approach to monetary penalties for
    breaches of the notifiable events regime and for knowingly or
    recklessly providing the Regulator or (in certain circumstances)
    trustees with false or misleading information.

The finalised overlapping powers and information-gathering
powers policies have been incorporated into the draft scheme
management enforcement policy.

Action

Trustees and employers should keep the progress of the
consultation under review.

Cybercrime – checklist

The Pensions Administration Standards Association has published
a cybercrime protection
checklist
which provides non-exhaustive examples of steps that
schemes can take to assess their defences against cybercrime.

Action

No action required, but trustees and administrators may find the
checklist helpful.

Issues affecting DB schemes

Transfers – guidance

The Pensions Administration Standards Association has published
good practice
guidance
on DB transfers. The guidance sets out the principles
and suggested simplified approaches for faster, safer and more
efficient transfers which comply with legislation (including the
new transfer regulations).

Action

No action required, but trustees and administrators of DB
schemes may find the guidance helpful.

Issues affecting DC schemes

Value for money – new framework

The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority have

announced
plans to develop a common framework for measuring
value for money. The two regulators and the government will work
together and publish a consultation setting out their proposals
towards the end of 2022.

Action

Trustees of DC schemes should keep the progress of the proposals
under review.

“Stronger nudge” – guidance
appointments

The Pensions Regulator has updated the section on directing
members to Pension Wise in its
guidance
for DC schemes on communicating and reporting to
include details of how schemes can book a Pension Wise guidance
session for members.

Action

No action required, but trustees and administrators of DC
schemes may find the updated guidance helpful.

To read the full article click
here

Originally Published May 2022

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This
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article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
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