Current Issues – April 2021

The Pensions Act 2021 – Get ready: TPR has been given significant new powers under PA21, which are likely to have an impact upon corporate activity. Trustees and sponsors need to be aware of the changes coming now, so they can consider the influence it may have on future activity.

Pension Scheme Accounts – Going Concern Issues: Scheme Auditors will be asking more challenging questions about the assessment of the Scheme as a ‘Going Concern’ when auditing the next set of annual accounts. This is in line with guidance from the Financial Reporting Council.

Helping members with financial matters – FCA/TPR Guidance: TPR and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have produced a joint ‘Guide for employers and trustees on providing support with financial matters without needing to be subject to FCA regulation.’ If you provide (or are intending to provide) your employees help with financial matters, this guide will help you to understand what are allowed to do without needing to be authorised by the FCA.

Pensions Ombudsman – Early resolution service: The Pensions Ombudsman has provided a guide to its ‘early resolution service’ to allow less formal and faster resolutions to member complaints. Trustees may wish to consider including a copy of the leaflet to members who invoke the Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure.

RPI and CPIH – Judicial Review Possible: A number of schemes are calling for a judiciary review of the intention to align RPI with CPIH from 2030. This is one to keep an eye on for now as it may not go anywhere.

TPR consultation on a consolidated Code of Practice: TPR are consulting on combining the fifteen existing Codes into one along with the introduction of an own risk assessment where the trustees regularly evaluate the effectiveness of their system of governance. TPR notes that the first own-risk assessment may require substantial extra work, notwithstanding that it should be proportionate to the size and nature of the scheme. The concept of proportionality is not clearly defined and this is certainly one area where we feel it will be important that TPR provides further guidance. The consultation period ends 26 May 2021.

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