(1) Notifiable Events Amendment Regulations
DWP consulted on the draft Regulations long ago in September 2021. There was much adverse comment. It seems revised Regulations are being worked on to reach a better balance between employer and scheme interests. Revised Regulations may take effect in Autumn 2023 but this is not certain.
(2) GMP Conversion Regulations – the GMP Conversion Act received Royal Assent on 28/4/22 . The Act’s provisions are still not in force as they depends on detailed Regulations. DWP has yet to consult on the draft Regulations and there is no sign of when these may appear.
(3) Single Code of Practice – TPR’s Corporate Plan 2023 – 2024 published on 21 April 2023 states the new Code to be called the “General Code” will be launched “this year”. As we understand it, this is likely to be in Q3 or Q4 of 2023. The General Code will amalgamate many but not all existing TPR Codes (an exception being the Code on DB Funding – see point (4) below).
The Code must be laid in Parliament for 40 days and is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.
(4) Funding and Investment Strategy Amendment Regulations (“Strategy Regulations”) and TPR’s revised Code of Practice re DB scheme Funding (“Strategy Code“):
The Strategy Regulations and Strategy Code are receding into the distance.
TPR’s Consultation on its proposed Strategy Code closed on 24/3/2023. There were many comments and TPR will need time to digest. TPR’s Corporate Plan 2023 – 2024 anticipates the launch date of the Strategy Code will be April 2024.
An important strand of the Strategy Regulations and the Strategy Code is still outstanding namely concerning the employer covenant. Previously there was an absence of pension legislation about the measurement of employer covenant. Pension Schemes Act 2021 introduced a structure for this but the details are to be in the Strategy Regulations and the Strategy Code. TPR has said it will consult on the proposed “employer covenant” part of the Strategy Code, but this Consultation has also yet to see the light of day.
(5) Dashboards – on 2/3/23 the Government announced a delay to the Dashboards’ Staging timetable. The first connection deadline for certain schemes was to have been 23 August 2023 but has been deferred to an (as yet) unknown date. The problem seems to be on the IT systems side.
The Pensions Dashboard Programme will be developing a new timetable for delivery and the Government has undertaken “to provide a further update” before Parliament’s summer recess in July 2023. This update could simply be just that and not include any actual new start date. Our own view is that there could be at least a 6 months’ delay but nobody knows for sure. The Government says it remains committed to the introduction of Dashboards and both TPR and PASA say schemes should continue to prepare; however, continuing uncertainty is unhelpful.