UK - Pickering's proposals will not be enshrined into law for about four years, pension lawyers and consultants believe.
A last-minute revision of the already delayed member nominated trustees interim regulations is set to extend opt-out periods by four years – one year more than was specified in earlier drafts.
Lawyers and consultants believe this change is a “clear” indication of the government’s timetable for Pickering’s recommendations.
CMS Cameron McKenna partner Mark Atkinson said the Department for Work and Pensions has taken “deliberate steps” to amend the latest draft of the MNT regulations, which are more than three months overdue. “The government is covering its own back, making sure it is biding enough time with these interim regulations. Everyone will be shooting for the new regulations if they are in a complicated format.”
Atkinson added: “The DWP doesn’t want to have to issue another set of interim regulations while it’s waiting for the full MNT regulations to be finalised.” Society of Pension Consultants secretary John Mortimer agreed that any move to alter the draft regulations at such a late stage was indicative of the government’s intentions for introducing the final set of “post-Pickering” regulations.
“Unless there is some obscure technical reason, this is the best indication yet of the timescale the government is working to on Pickering,” he said.
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Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
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Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers