FCA confirms final rules for new Consumer Duty and gives firms more time to comply

The FCA has published the final rules and guidance and accompanying non-Handbook guidance relating to the new Consumer Duty (the Duty). While the nature and scope of the Duty remains largely unchanged in most areas, the final rules and guidance contain some significant changes and clarifications relating to how the Duty will apply in relation to distribution chains, closed books, wholesale markets and … Read more

New legislation will require DB schemes to target low risk funding and investment strategy

After a significant delay, the Government has finally published its consultation on draft regulations that will underpin the new long-term funding and investment requirements for UK defined benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes contained in the Pension Schemes Act 2021. These new requirements are designed to drive DB schemes towards a “low dependency” funding level by … Read more

Government confirms plans for schemes to start connecting to pensions dashboards in just over a year

The Government has confirmed the timetable for implementing pensions dashboards in its response to the consultation on the draft Pensions Dashboards Regulations 2022. While the largest auto-enrolment master trusts and money purchase schemes together with public service pension schemes will be given a little longer to connect than had been proposed, the connection deadlines for … Read more

Pensions Regulator and DWP seek to smooth operation of Transfer Conditions

The Pensions Regulator and the DWP have issued a joint statement in an attempt to clarify how trustees should be applying the statutory transfer conditions introduced last November. This follows strong criticism about the wording of the legislation and concern about how some of the red and amber flags are being applied, which is leading … Read more

How far can trustees go when setting ‘net zero’ targets?

Following his recent talk at a joint Association of Pension Lawyers and Society of Pension Professionals Event on ‘ESG and Trustees’ fiduciaries duties’, Michael Aherne considers how trustees should approach setting a ‘net zero’ target for their scheme. Read more

What can we learn from the Pension Regulator’s Corporate Plan?

The UK Pension Regulator has published its latest Corporate Plan which describes the Regulator’s main areas of focus over the next two years. The Plan provides important updates on the timing of the new DB funding Code and the extension of the notifiable events regime, as it sets out the key actions we can expect … Read more

Pensions and Bulk Annuities – Ep 3

In the latest podcast from Herbert Smith Freehills’ pension team, Rachel Pinto, Partner, is joined by Simon Bramwell, Partner and Head of Longevity Risk Transactions at Barnett Waddingham and Matt Wilmington, Head of Origination – Bulk Annuities at Scottish Widows. In their conversation, Rachel, Simon and Matt cover: the preparations that schemes need to make … Read more

Hong Kong Pensions Update: Removal of MPF Offsetting Arrangements on the way

The long-awaited changes, which will abolish the current MPF offsetting arrangements against severance or long service payment, have been published, introduced and passed as one of the first bills for the 2022 legislative session. This article gives an overview of the changes and transitional arrangements. Abolishing the offsetting arrangement Currently, employers are permitted to offset … Read more