The Week In Pensions provides you with a digest of the most important developments in pensions law and regulation along with highlighting some of the most interesting stories from the pensions industry and national press.
In The Week In Pensions this week:
- Pension Schemes Bill 2019-21: second reading scheduled for 7 October 2020;
- PLSA publishes vote-reporting templates to help schemes comply with stewardship duties; and
- HM Treasury publishes policy paper on Job Support Scheme.
And, in the pensions industry and national press:
- 30% of employees do not know where their pension savings go; and
- TPR to investigate sponsoring employers for abuse of the COVID-19 deficit repair contribution easement.
Pensions law and regulation update
Pension Schemes Bill 2019-21: second reading scheduled for 7 October 2020
The second reading of the Pensions Schemes Bill 2019-21 in the House of Commons will take place on 7 October 2020. This is in line with what we reported last week on the government’s intention to pass the legislation this calendar year
PLSA publishes vote-reporting templates to help schemes comply with stewardship duties
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published two vote-reporting templates to help pension schemes, investment managers and platform providers disclose how they enact their shareholder voting rights. The templates have been produced to help trustees of affected defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid schemes comply with the requirement to produce implementation statements which comes into effect for defined contribution schemes with 100 or more members on 1 October 2020 and for defined benefit schemes on 1 October 2021.
- Click here for the PLSA’s press release; and
- Click here for the PLSA’s implementation statement guidance home page.
HM Treasury publishes policy paper on Job Support Scheme
On 24 September 2020, HM Treasury published a policy paper outlining what is covered by the grant under the Job Support Scheme. The policy paper cover:
- which employers and employees are eligible;
- how employers should make claims; and
- what payments are covered by the Job Support Scheme.
Highlights from the pensions industry and national press
30% of employees do not know where their pension savings go
According to research by Teamspirit and reported by Employee Benefits magazine, 30% of employees do not know where their pension savings go.
Its survey of 2,000 people, also found that just 34% say they know their pension is invested in the stock market and other assets. Just 22% know it is invested but do not know where it is invested, while 12% believe the pension fund sets the money aside and it is not touched by anyone until they access their savings.
Almost three-quarters of employees with pension savings have made no changes to their pensions during the pandemic. Among those aged 35 – 54, 77% have not made any changes to their pension savings, with a further 24% not knowing where to begin if they wanted to make a change, and 15% not knowing that they can make any changes.
TPR to investigate sponsoring employers for abuse of the COVID-19 deficit repair contribution easement
The Financial Times reports that The Pensions Regulator has received about 200 revised deficit repair contribution plans. These are from scheme sponsors taking advantage of TPR’s COVID-19 easement to suspend or reduce contribution payments in certain circumstances and if certain criteria were met.
David Fairs, TPR’s Head of Regulatory Policy stated that: “A proportion of [the 200] have clearly followed our advice and done what we asked them to do in terms of the action that they have taken … [there are] some where it is less clear that they took account of our advice. We are asking those schemes further questions and looking into the decisions that they made.”
Get more Insights from the pensions team
Gowling WLG has one of the UK’s largest and most experienced pensions law teams. As well as publishing The Week In Pensions, the team issues The Month In Pensions podcast and agenda and regular Insights on key legal developments.
- Click here for the latest Insights from the pensions team at Gowling WLG; and
- Click here to find out more about the pensions team at Gowling WLG.
About the author(s)
Ian is a London-based professional support lawyer (PSL) legal director. Ian is a member of our pensions and combined human resource solutions (CHRS) teams. He works with clients to solve their employment and pensions law issues. Ian maintains a particular focus on 'crossover' issues that benefit from his understanding of both areas of law.