Pensions Dashboards – Regulations:
The DWP has issued draft regulations for consultation on Pensions Dashboards. It is proposed that schemes will have to be ready to connect and supply data to the dashboards system between 30th June 2023 and 31st October 2025.
The largest DC master trusts with 20,000 or more deferred and active members would have to connect by 30th June 2023. Schemes with between 100 to 999 active or deferred members will be expected to connect between October 2024 and October 2025.
The regulations would apply to all UK occupational pension schemes that have at least 100 active and deferred members. The regulations do not apply to schemes with 99 or fewer members, however, the consultation says that staging of this group is likely to begin in 2026. Occupational schemes will have to register with the Money and Pensions Service to connect to its dashboards and provide data. Schemes will need to be able to conduct a search for a member based on a ‘find’ request made on the dashboard and then be able to provide ‘view’ data, which would include basic scheme data, plus date of joining, normal pension age, and current and projected benefits. Value data may be taken from a statement of entitlement or calculation carried out in the prior 12 months. In this case, it must be given immediately. However, if the calculations are carried out when a view request is made, the trustees have 10 working-days to respond. ‘View’ data must also include details of associated dependants’ benefits and the increases that would apply in payment.
The consultations runs until 13th March. The draft regulations and details of the consultation can be found here:
Mortality Projections – Considering the Pandemic:
The Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has confirmed that it does not intend to place any weight on mortality data for 2020 and 2021 in the core version of its next mortality projections model, CMI 2021, which is due to be published in March. The CMI model is used by actuaries to determine assumptions for life-expectancies. Life expectancies from the core version of CMI 2021 are lower than the core version of CMI 2020. Schemes updating from CMI 2020 or earlier, may see a smaller value placed on the scheme’s liabilities.
Pensions Ombudsman – Dishonesty Unit:
The Pensions Ombudsman has set up a Pensions Dishonesty Unit to investigate allegations of serious breaches of trust, theft, and misappropriation of pension funds, as well as fraudulent behaviour by pension trustees. This is in response to several Ombudsman Determinations where trustees have been held personally liable for millions of pounds, including the Henry Davidson and Norton Motorcycles cases. Stuart Garner, the former owner of Norton Motorcycles has pleaded guilty to three charges of breaching employer related investment rules. Garner is due to be sentenced in Derby Crown Court later this month.
TPR – Scheme Returns:
This year, the Scheme Return will be in two parts. The first part contains new questions and should be completed in a separate online form, which will be sent to the registered contact by TPR. The second part will contain the remaining questions and must be completed on Exchange as normal. Scheme returns must be completed by 31st March.
The questions in the first part of the scheme return ask for a) the website address of the scheme’s SIP and Implementation statement (if legally required), b) the website address where the scheme’s climate change report has been published (if legally required), and c) the trustees’ assessment of the covenant grading (if available).