The industry is split on whether The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) January removal of late payment reporting flexibility is too early, a Professional Pensions poll shows.
The regulator confirmed last week that it would impose a 1 January 2021 deadline on the 60-day easing for defined contribution and auto-enrolment providers it brought in at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Half (51%) of the industry respondents to PP's Pensions Buzz this week - compris
ed of trustees, scheme administrators, investment consultants, and actuaries - disagree that the removal is too soon.
One said the extension has "already been abused" meaning people are "missing out". They continued: "Pension contributions should be paid on time, just like wages."
Another said the flexibilities were "always a concession, not a right" while another added it was important companies "don't get further grace" by way of deadline extensions.
One respondent said more should be done by the regulator to promote a temporary suspension of contributions for employees in need, with a corresponding suspension carried over for their employer.
But a quarter of Buzz pundits said the removal of the 60-day flexibility was too soon, while a further quarter (24%) were unsure.
"Companies continue to find times challenging," said one respondent who argued it was too soon to remove the extension. "We seem to be entering a new stage and a winter of uncertainty."
Another agreed: "If the trustees are satisfied the sponsor's business will be affected by reducing their cash flow, then of course it's too early."
A third added it remains "crucial to reflect market reality" when valuing future pension payments.
This comes alongside the government's tightening of restrictions across England this week, with Covid-19 case numbers at their highest since June.
Hymans Robertson has cut the carbon footprint of its pension plan by around 33% while delivering lower charges by launching a fresh default investment strategy.
Both defined contribution (DC) scheme membership and assets are continuing to show steady growth despite the Coronavirus outbreak, according to the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI).
PP looks at the pensions great and good who oversee contract-based schemes
The least financially secure pension savers may be increasing their personal debt levels or foregoing household essentials after paying pension contributions, The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA) says.
Thames Water has contracted Aon to bring an “inspiring and innovative approach” to its 4,500-member strong defined contribution stakeholder plan.