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The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has had a lick of paint in the form of a rebrand and has set out its future approach to regulation. Aside from using more printer toner, in this second 'future report' (the first was in July 2017) TPR has refined four key areas on which it will focus:

  • Setting clear expectations: clear, measurable standards. TPR will launch a new website later in 2018 and it promises to present content in a 'clearer way'.

  • Identifying risk early: preventing risks to members from increasing over time through prioritisation, monitoring, supervision and early proactive intervention. A framework of regulatory risk will set out TPR's priorities and focus its efforts on the areas of imminent risk to members. Horizon scanning will ensure its strategy and regulatory approach are informed by longer term threats and opportunities. The Supervision

Team will intervene 'significantly more' via targeted engagement.

  • Driving compliance through supervision and enforcement: a wider range of regulatory interventions through a process of systematic and escalating interaction. TPR will test, measure and adapt the way it works to continue to drive behavioural . . .

21 Sept 2018  

The Pension Protection Fund (Pensionable Service) and Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment and Disclosure) (Amendment and Modification) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/988) make amendments to regulations governing compensation from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), and also to the investment principles and disclosure requirements for occupational pension schemes.

The amendments have 2 main purposes:

1. To ensure that a relevant fixed pension that was derived from service in another scheme is treated as attributable pensionable service for the purpose of calculating PPF compensation (except for the purposes of applying a single compensation cap). This will ensure that the PPF has the legal basis to pay survivor benefits and to index and revalue payments.

2. To amend the requirements on occupational pension scheme trustees,

concerning the statement of investment principles (SIP) and the publication of other relevant information which will, amongst other purposes, assist in comparing costs and charges.

The two separate and quite distinct objectives were combined within a single statutory instrument allegedly to 'save Parliamentary time'. . . .

14 Sept 2018  

The Relief at Source Pension Schemes Newsletter - September 2018 was published on 13 September (initially billed as PSN 103, before correction) and tackles:

Annual Return of Information

HMRC reminds readers the annual return of information for 2017/18 is due in two weeks time, ie by 30 September 2018. From April 2019, the annual return of information for 2018/19 can be submitted

using the Secure Data Exchange Service (SDES). HMRC has provided an Appendix to the Newsletter with information on structuring this information.

HMRC acknowledges that some pension scheme administrators will not be able to make changes to their systems in time to submit their 2018/19 annual return of information. To help with this, there will be an option of submitting the new version of the annual return of information or the 2017/18 version.

For the 2019/20 annual return of information onwards, all pension scheme administrators operating relief at source must use the new version.

The Registered Pension Schemes (Relief at Source)(Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/150) require scheme administrators submitting an annual return of information to also submit a declaration. These cannot be submitted via SDES . . .

14 Sept 2018  

The Occupational Pension Schemes (Master Trusts) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/983) have been made and commence, from 1 October 2018, the authorisation and supervision regime for master trust pension schemes under the provisions of the Pension Schemes Act 2017.

A master trust scheme provides a money purchase pension, is used by more than one employer, and is not a public sector scheme or used only by

connected employers.

As with the draft SI, these regulations aim to address the potential impact of the risks for master trust scheme members by providing a suitably flexible authorisation and supervision regime that will be administered by the Pensions Regulator (TPR). All master trusts will have to be authorised by TPR or will be required to transfer its members to another authorised master trust and wind up.

TPR's ongoing supervision regime will ensure that master trusts continue to meet the authorisation criteria; it has greater powers to engage with and, if appropriate, intervene if a master trust is in danger of failing to meet the authorisation criteria.

The authorisation and supervision regime is disapplied to some types of schemes that have specific characteristics. For example, certain small schemes where . . .

13 Sept 2018  

By a majority of 4 to 1, the Supreme Court has allowed an appeal with the result that a surviving unmarried partner of the deceased cannot be precluded from entitlement to widowed parent's allowance (WPA), defined in section 39A of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992. To do otherwise would be in contravention of article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR ) when read with either article 8 of the Convention or Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention.

The case concerns the refusal, by the Northern Ireland Department for Communities, of Bereavement Payment and Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA) upon the death of the appellant's partner because they had not been married or in a civil partnership, despite having lived together for 23 years.

The case of MB

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled, in the case of

MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, that UK legislation cannot require a woman who had previously been a married man to end their marriage to their wife in order to be able to claim a state retirement pension. To do so constitutes direct discrimination.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives transgender people the right to formally change their gender by obtaining a . . .

10 Sept 2018