Developments in Employee Benefits law and practice

19 November 2018

TPR publishes 2018 edition of DB pensions landscape

The Pensions Regulator has published the latest version of its annual report on all DB occupational pension schemes registered with TPR. It includes those also providing DC benefits, as well as schemes not eligible for the Pension Protection Fund.

TPR has also launched a modernised website, in a bid to offer its three million yearly visitors a “clearer and simpler experience”.

Single Financial Guidance Body – Transfer of Contracts

Information has been published about the transfer of contracts from the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise to the Single Financial Guidance Body.

From January 2019, the Single Financial Guidance Body will bring together the 3 existing providers of government-sponsored financial guidance: the Money Advice Service; The Pensions Advisory Service; Pension Wise.

NEST to offer ‘sidecar savings’

Timpson, the high street retail services provider, is the first company to sign up for a two-year pilot run by the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) to test so-called ‘sidecar savings’ options as a way of increasing employees’ financial resilience.

In a sidecar structure, contributions over and above the auto enrolment minimum would be managed through a mechanism designed to create an optimal level of liquid savings, while also maximising long-term savings. Contributions paid into the combined account structure would at first be distributed between the emergency savings account and the pension pot. When the balance in the emergency account reaches a predetermined threshold level, known as the ‘savings cap’, all contributions would start ‘rolling’ into the pension pot.

EIOPA: Pension Benefit Statement

EIOPA has published a report as part of its work to facilitate the implementation of IORP II. It focusses on the new requirement for IORPs to draw-up a pension benefit statement.

HMRC draft regulations on repayment of overseas transfer charge

HMRC has published draft regulations on the information requirements and process for claiming a repayment of the overseas pension schemes transfer charge for consultation.

The first set of draft regulations detail the conditions and process for claiming a repayment of the overseas pension schemes transfer charge where the charge was either paid in error or a change in the individual’s circumstances now means the original transfer was exempt from the charge.

The second set of draft regulations align the information requirements of SI 2006/208 (the Pension Schemes (Information Requirements – Qualifying Overseas Pension Schemes, Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes and Corresponding Relief) Regulations 2006) with those detailed in the draft Repayment of Overseas Transfer Charge regulations.

TPR orders firm to pay back over £700,000 in contributions

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has ordered a firm to pay back more than £700,000 of pension contributions after it miscalculated the amounts due for more than a year.

Details are included in a Case Study in TPR’s latest Compliance and Enforcement Bulletin.

CDC consultation update

This consultation sets out proposals as to how a particular form of CDC scheme might work in the UK, and the legislative and regulatory regime that would be needed to support any such scheme. It gives an indication of the government’s policy intentions and likely focus of the legislation.

HMRC updated guidance

HMRC have updated three guides for pension schemes administrators on registering with HMRC and managing a registered scheme.

Apply to register a pension scheme explains how pension scheme administrators can apply to register a new pension scheme with HMRC and check the progress of submitted applications. The guide has been updated with information about how to check the status and view details of submitted applications.

Manage a registered pension scheme explains how to manage pension schemes as the administrator and tell HMRC about retirement annuity or deferred annuity contracts that will be managed. The guide has been updated to add information about the status of a pension scheme and administration details.

Register as a pension scheme administrator explains how to become a pension scheme administrator as an individual, partnership or business. Guidance on how to register as a pension scheme administrator has been updated.

Brexit agreement

On 14 November 2018, the European Commission and UK negotiators reached an agreement on the entirety of the Withdrawal Agreement and on an outline of the political declaration on the future EU-UK relationship. The documents are lengthy, complex and full analysis of them will take some time.

The agreement is subject to approval by Parliament and by the EU institutions.

Key points to note for pensions include provisions for current reciprocal rights on state pensions to continue unchanged.


John W. Wilson LLB(Hons) FPMI ACII, Head of Research| Email: