Spring Statement 2022
As expected, the Chancellor's Spring Statement was quiet on the pensions front with no specific pension measures and just two pension points to mention.
The first is the announcement shortly before the 23 March 2022 statement, from Thérèse Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pension, confirming the Government's commitment to reinstating the triple lock on state pensions for the rest of the current Parliament after reinstatement. This follows the September 2021 decision to set aside the earnings part of the triple lock for 2022/23 because of the large spike in earnings during the review period (see our Insight).
Aside from this, the only point to mention (and it is a side point at most) was the reference to the Government programmes through which access to innovative finance has been increased and the reference to the pensions DC default charge cap reforms which are designed to improve investment in illiquid assets (see our Budget Insight).
Legislation update: GMP conversion, notifiable events and CMP schemes
GMP conversion Bill progress
The Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill continues its way through Parliament having received its second reading in the House of Lords on 25 March 2022. The next stage is the committee stage where it will be reviewed in detail. It has already been through the House of Commons. Our Insight has further details on the Bill.
Notifiable events regulations delay
It appears that there has been a delay to the introduction of the notifiable events changes that were expected to come into force on 6 April 2022. The DWP consulted in September 2021 on draft regulations which, along with certain other changes, would introduce two additional events (a decision in principle by the scheme employer to sell a 'material proportion' of its business or assets or to grant or extend a 'relevant security') – see our September Insight.
However, as at the date of drafting, there has been no further update from the DWP (aside from a minor revision to the wording of the regulations on 13 October 2021) and the final regulations have not yet been laid before Parliament. Therefore, precisely when the notifiable events framework will be amended and how is still up in the air - we remain on the lookout for this confirmation.
CMP schemes consequential regulations
Following on from our last Insight, the second set of collective money purchase schemes regulations were laid before Parliament on 21 March 2022. These regulations will amend existing pensions legislation including in relation to disclosure of information and providing exemptions from legislation such as the Section 75 employer debt provisions and provisions in respect of statements of investment principles.
As with the Occupational Pension Schemes (Collective Money Purchase Schemes) Regulations 2022 they will come into force on 1 August 2022.
For details of the consultation on the draft CMP regulations and the DWP's response see here and here.