UK - Schemes will have to be nimble to meet the raft of changes which are likely to take effect next year, delegates at the recent NAPF Conference heard.
But identifying what action they need to take is “something of a moving target” as the Pensions Bill still has a number of stages to go through and Royal Assent is not expected until November. There are also numerous regulations and codes of practice that must be agreed by parliament.
Sacker & Partners partner Fiona Franklin and Law Debenture’s Richard Main outlined the key issues, including:
- Changes to the member-nominated trustee provisions.- New requirements for trustees’ knowledge and understanding.- Changes to section 67 of the Pensions Act to safeguard members’ accrued rights.- Changes to the internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) requirements.- Changes to the new limited price indexation ceiling.
Franklin particularly welcomed moves which would streamline IDRP by cutting the current two-stage process in half. But she warned the improvement could be made redundant by a provision in the Bill which requires the process to be brought to “an emergency stop” if the complaint is taken to court or the pensions ombudsman “has commenced an investigation”.
The ombudsman can also take action before the process is completed if he thinks that:
- There is no real prospect of a decision under IDRP within a reasonable period of the complaint being made to him.- It is reasonable in the circumstances he should investigate and determine the complaint.
Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay a total of £87,000 in fines and court costs after he was found guilty of failing to provide The Pensions Regulator (TPR) with information.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it while believes in the benefits of consolidating defined benefit (DB) schemes, there are significant issues to overcome.
There is just one week left to register to enter the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards 2018.
Nearly a third (32%) of employers believe new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will play a part in benefits communications, latest research from Aon Employee Benefits reveals.