Pensions Round-Up: October 2015

Pensions Round-Up UK Series

Pensions Alert (UK)

Welcome to the latest edition of Pensions Round-Up which provides an overview of developments in pension legislation, case law and regulatory guidance.

In this edition we look at key developments from October 2015 including the following.

  • DC flexibilities: the publication by HMRC of flexible payment statistics; a consultation from the Financial Conduct Authority about proposed changes to its rules and guidance in light of the flexibilities; and the Work and Pensions Committee's report about pension freedom guidance and advice.
  • The Pensions Regulator: the results of research about the ability of trustees and their boards to fulfil effectively their roles and responsibilities; and the latest quarterly report about automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement activity.
  • Department for Work and Pensions: a Ministerial Statement setting out the Government's priorities in relation to pensions; a consultation about the most effective way to regulate to ban member-borne commission payments in DC qualifying schemes; a consultation about consequential amendments to legislation to reflect the end of contracting-out; and the launch of a Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into understanding of the new State Pension.
  • HMRC: the publication of a Brief from HMRC providing an update on the issue of deduction of VAT on pension fund management costs; and further information about the protections that will be available when the lifetime allowance reduces to £1 million on 6 April 2016.
  • Case law: a judgment from the Court of Appeal concerning the provision of survivors' benefits to civil partners and same sex spouses by occupational pension schemes; and a judgment from the High Court about the construction of a scheme's pension increase rule.
  • Other news: an announcement about pooling of Local Authority pension funds; news of the timing for the response to consultation about pensions tax relief; and consultations from the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority about financial guidance and advice.
  • On the Horizon: a timeline of some of the key future developments in pensions to help employers and trustees plan ahead.