UK Pensions newsletter - July 2022

Welcome to Hogan Lovells UK pension team’s July 2022 newsletter.

Contents

Age discrimination: historic claims? 

An unusual case in the Employment Tribunal has raised the potential for claims for age discrimination in respect of service before 1 December 2006 (when age discrimination legislation was introduced), where the discriminatory practice does not come within a specified exemption.

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High inflation: time to check your DB scheme rules 

Legislation requires some pensions in payment (usually contracted-out benefits and benefits accrued after 6 April 1997) to be increased in payment, and some scheme rules also provide for increases on benefits earned before 6 April 1997.  However, it is also relatively common for schemes to contain a power to provide additional (discretionary) pension increases. In a period of higher inflation, scheme members may start asking questions about whether the trustees or employer have a power to grant additional increases.

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Pensions Regulator guide to reporting pension scams

The latest publication in the ongoing campaign against pension fraud is a joint guide to reporting pension scams, issued jointly by the Pensions Regulator (tPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and ActionFraud.  The guide can be accessed via a link in a recent tPR blog.

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Consultation on reforms to the UK's Solvency II regime 

At the end of April 2022, HM Treasury published its much-anticipated consultation paper on reforming aspects of the UK’s Solvency II regime, which governs the capital resources insurers must have to back the risks they insure.  The reforms are of interest to UK pensions, especially sponsoring employers and trustees of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, as changes to the capital requirements may impact favourably on the availability and cost of annuities.

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Other news

  • Climate change: regulations (and associated guidance) have been issued to introduce the requirement for master trusts and large occupational pension schemes to report on a portfolio alignment metric from 1 October 2022.
  • Investment: the DWP has issued updated guidance for reporting on the statement of investment principles (SIP) and the implementation statement. 
  • The DWP has launched a call for evidence, to explore what support pension scheme members may need to help them make informed choices about using their savings.
  • PASA has published:
  • Derivatives (EMIR): the exemption for pension schemes from the obligation to clear over the counter (OTC) derivative contracts through a  central counterparty, due to expire on 18 June this year, is being extended to 18 June 2023. 
  • Pensions dashboards: a short further consultation has been issued, introducing the concept of the “Dashboards Available Point” (DAP) – the date from which qualifying dashboard services will be available to the general public.  The DAP date will be specified in a notice at least 90 days in advance. 

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