Snapshots and quarterly updates

Our monthly snapshots and quarterly updates provide information on the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - August 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - July 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - June 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - May 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - April 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - March 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - February 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions law trustee update - Q1 2022

Priorities for trustees this quarter are to:

  • consider what scheme processes need to be updated to comply with the new pensions 'nudge' requirements for occupational defined contribution schemes;
  • continue with any work needed in order to comply with the Pensions Regulator's (Regulator) draft code of practice; and
  • consider what steps need to be taken to ensure compliance with the new climate change obligations from 1 October 2022 which will apply to schemes with £1 billion or more in assets.

Pensions snapshot - January 2022

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Pensions snapshot - November 2021

This edition of snapshot looks at the latest legal developments in pensions.

Insights

Pension schemes and inflation

In the 12 months to August 2022, RPI has increased by 12.3% and CPI 9.9%. With this recent significant rise in inflation, employers and trustees have been asking what the impact of this is upon their defined benefit pension schemes. Members are also concerned that, against high inflation and a 'cost of living crisis, their pensions will maintain their value in real terms.

Court declares change of RPI to CPIH lawful

A number of pension funds have challenged the decision of the then-Chancellor and the UKSA to align RPI with CPIH. In this alert we discuss the outcome of that challenge and the impact of the decision on defined benefit pension schemes.

New approach to funding defined benefit pension schemes

The Pension Schemes Act 2021 provided for a framework for a new defined benefit funding regime. In particular, the framework would require defined benefit schemes to have a funding and investment strategy for the purpose of ensuring benefits under the scheme can be paid over the long term. The DWP is now consulting on draft regulations which explain what this will mean for trustees in practice. Read more to find out what trustees will be required to produce along with other changes and next steps.

Employment tribunal case highlights growing pressures on member nominated trustees

Writing for Professional Pensions, managing associate Chris Edwards-Earl analyses a recent employment tribunal case, Folarin v Transport for London. In the piece, Chris explains how the case highlights the growing pressures on member nominated trustees, and why it illustrates that the growth of professional trusteeship is set to continue. (£)

Risk management, reduced recovery plans and mitigation—TPR’s Annual Funding Statement 2022

Writing for LexisNexis, senior knowledge development lawyer Julia Ward examines the key themes in the Pension Regulator's Annual Funding Statement 2022. This is particularly relevant for trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes with valuation dates between 22 September 2021 and 21 September 2022 by setting out how to approach valuations in the current political-economic climate.

TPR’s consultation on consolidated draft enforcement policy and updated prosecution policy aims to provide greater transparency on enforcement and prosecution

Pensions analysis: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published its consultation response and draft enforcement policy, consolidating previous policies and helping to make the enforcement powers clearer through more streamlined policy documents. Following the response, TPR has launched a further consultation on its draft enforcement and prosecution policy. Chris Edwards-Earl, senior associate at Stephenson Harwood analyses the consultations and its implications for pensions schemes.

Has the scope for ESG investments by pension schemes widened?

A recent case (Butler-Sloss and others v Charity Commission for England and Wales) has been handed down where the court has permitted the trustees of two charities to adopt an ESG-based investment strategy. This is notwithstanding that the trustees acknowledged that the investment strategy would provide a lower rate of return in the short-term when compared with other, less restrictive, investment strategies.

TPR on the warpath — two recent cases in profile

Writing for Professional Pensions, senior associate Chris Edwards-Earl discusses two recently published cases where the Pensions Regulator exercised its moral hazard powers, which have been recently strengthened by the Pension Schemes Act 2021. (£)

The dash to be dashboard ready

Pensions analysis: It seems that it is now full steam ahead for the introduction of pension dashboards. A pension dashboard will be an online platform that can be used by pension scheme members to access information about all of their occupational pension schemes (including the State Pension) in one place. It is the responsibility of the Pensions Dashboards Programme (PDP) to design and implement the infrastructure that will make pensions dashboards work. The government is currently consulting on draft regulations which set out the detailed framework for the provision and operation of this service, as well as the obligations on occupational pension schemes to onboard onto a dashboard.

Cybersecurity: is your pension scheme prepared for the expected? Fail to prepare; prepare to fail

The level of cybercrime continues to grow at an unprecedented rate in the UK and across the globe, with UK Government figures from 2021 showing that nearly 40% of businesses surveyed had suffered cyber security breaches or attacks in the last year. Over recent years the threat of attacks has been exacerbated by the increase in staff working from home, and from increased political tensions and activity from hostile states.

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