Whilst we may have seen fewer thunderstorms this year than in previous summers, there has been no shortage of developments which could signal stormy weather ahead for pensions, including a Cabinet reshuffle, recent high-profile developments relating to the British Steel and BHS pension schemes and the prospect of a new Pensions Bill. All this takes place in the context of the vote to leave the European Union, which we have already considered in our briefing note ‘What does Brexit mean for pension schemes?’.
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In July 2016, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published a discussion paper on how trustee boards can meet the challenge of pension scheme governance in the changing pensions and economic landscape of the 21st century. TPR is seeking views by 9 September 2016 on a number of topics, including whether there should be minimum qualifications for professional trustees or Chairs of trustees and whether Chairs should be required to produce a governance statement for defined benefit (DB) schemes.
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On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, but it remains unclear when our exit (otherwise known as ‘Brexit’) might be triggered and on what terms. In the face of such uncertainty, trustees and sponsors of pension schemes should be considering the short-term effects on their funding and planning for the possible longer-term implications of Brexit.
In November 2013 the Regulator introduced a Code of Practice (Code) for the governance and administration of trust based DC schemes. Legislation came into force on 6 April 2015 introducing further requirements, including a mandatory annual Chair’s statement. A new update Code, together with accompanying guidance, is to come into force on 28 July. This note explores the options available to trustees and sponsors looking to manage their DC governance burden.