We recommend prioritising these issues on your Spring / Summer agenda:

  • getting your governance up to scratch in line with the General Code
  • ensuring you’re dashboard-ready
  • staying on top of updates to the DB funding and investment regime
  • making Lifetime Allowance changes smoothly.

Plus – what to keep an eye on, and what to look out for in the coming weeks.

Action now

TPR’s ‘General Code’ came into force at the end of March. Trustees should consider what changes they will need to make to their scheme’s governance to comply with TPR’s expectations. While schemes will be at different points in their governance journeys, most need to undertake work and are likely to need assistance along the way.

Schemes should also ensure they are conversant with other recent TPR guidance publications, for example those in relation to cyber security, EDI and climate risk.

ACTION: Ask about our new Pensions Governance Hub that helps schemes assess, comply and maintain compliance with the new Code.

DWP statutory guidance has announced the new staging timetable for connection to pensions dashboards, with a longstop connection deadline of 31 October 2026 for schemes in scope (all registrable UK-based occupational pension schemes with 100 or more members, excluding pensioners). In very limited circumstances, schemes may be able to apply to defer their connection.

TPR’s updated guidance gives a ‘connect by’ calculator, giving the dates by which different types and sizes of schemes are encouraged to connect (unless exceptional circumstances prevent them from doing so). Trustees must be able to demonstrate how they have taken the statutory guidance into consideration when planning and making decisions for their connection. Further DWP guidance was published in April to help trustees with the preparation of illustrations. PDP Revised standards and TPR’s compliance and enforcement policy are awaited.

ACTION: Schemes must now ensure they are prepared to go live. Check your connection date, make dashboards a key agenda item, liaise with relevant third parties, ensure scheme data is accurate and complete – and keep clear records of actions and decisions taken. TPR’s checklist, and PASA’s pensions dashboards readiness guidance and call to action contain useful pointers.

Schemes may wish to take legal advice on their obligations, contractual terms with third parties, and data privacy recommendations.

Changes to the DB funding and investment regime came into force on 6 April 2024, and broadly take effect for valuations from 22 September 2024 onwards. DB trustees must put a long term funding and investment strategy in place, and have a statement setting out that strategy (amongst other matters). TPR’s consultation on the form and content of the statement of strategy closed on 16 April 2024.

TPR’s revised DB funding code (plus accompanying guidance and ‘Fast Track’ parameters) is expected to be laid in the summer and in force by 22 September. A consultation on covenant guidance will follow ‘later in the summer’.

ACTION: Schemes should ensure they are fully up to speed with the changes, and stay on top of the further releases. See our Insight for further detail.

A new Finance Act plus additional regulations completed the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) and introduction of new allowances from 6 April 2024. A new deadline of 5 April 2025 is also proposed for applications for certain existing protections.

Unsurprisingly, the changes have proven complex, and resulted in further regulations being required to fix initial errors. HMRC’s guidance notes and newsletters remain a key source of information for all parties.

ACTION: Trustees and administrators should consider changes required arising from the abolition of the LTA and introduction of the new lump sum regime. They should also monitor publication of the further changes to the legislation and any further HMRC guidance. See our Insight for what trustees and employers should be prioritising.

Watch out for

Join TLT’s Pensions team on 4 June for a workshop exploring tricky issues around buy-in and buy-out. Watch out for more details in the coming days!

Register here

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at May 2024. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

Date published

07 May 2024

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