The Pension Schemes Bill - Just the beginning?
It was widely anticipated in the pensions industry that the Pension Schemes Bill (the Bill) would receive Royal Assent at the end of 2020. However, it is perhaps unsurprising it did not get over the line with much of the Government's time taken up with Brexit and Covid-19. It has, however now passed through all of the Parliamentary stages and is awaiting Royal Assent.
This Bill will introduce some important provisions that sponsors and those involved with defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in particular need to be aware of. Much of the detail and the practical application of these new provisions is not, however, provided for. This will be set out in secondary legislation and guidance which is yet to be produced. The passing of the Bill is, therefore, just the beginning for these changes.
The key provisions of the Bill relate to:
- Extending the powers of the Pensions Regulator (TPR) including the creation of new criminal offences
- Changes to the funding requirements of DB schemes
- Creating a framework for collective money purchase pension schemes
- Provision for pension dashboards