10 April 2024

Welcome to the April edition of our Pensions Law update.

With the General Code in force and the lifetime allowance now abolished, the Pensions landscape looks a little different this month. We have some great resources available to help you get to grips with the changes – including our free General Code checklist – and you can read more below.

As usual, there’s no let up in the pace of change in the pensions world – next on the agenda is pensions dashboards and this month brought us confirmation of the staging dates for schemes to connect. 

You’ll find articles about all these in this edition, together with features on cyber security for pension schemes in 2024, AI and the pensions industry, changes to the law relating to international data transfers, and to trusts law in Scotland. There are also the usual updates on ESG developments and the latest from the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pensions Regulator.


The Pensions Regulator’s General Code is now in force

On 28 March 2024 TPR’s General Code came into force – so what do schemes need to do? Mairi Carlin sets out key actions and how we can help. If you’d like to receive a copy of our free checklist please do get in touch.

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Lifetime allowance abolition – transitional regulations help schemes navigate the change

The abolition of the lifetime allowance came into effect on 6 April 2024. Thankfully, on 14 March, new regulations were laid introducing a number of further provisions in relation to the LTA abolition – including a welcome (albeit temporary) statutory override to preserve the position where scheme rules include a cap on benefits by reference to the lifetime allowance regime.

Read more >

Since the date of this article, HMRC has published yet another LTA abolition newsletter update last Thursday (its LTA abolition FAQ document is now well over 100 pages long!) in which it asks pension schemes to advise some clients to delay taking benefits or transferring until it can fix incorrect legislation regarding the LTA abolition. In that respect, we understand that HMRC has been in touch with pension consultancy firms directly to outline the various areas where the legislation may not currently operate as intended. As such, HMRC has indicated it intends to legislate for a further round of amending regulations after April 6 to address these further anomalies and that any further regulations will have retrospective effect from 6 April 2024.

The Pensions Regulator uses its anti-avoidance powers and secures £3.5m for distressed scheme

TPR published a report this month detailing how it reached a settlement to secure a £3.5m payment from 6 target companies (which had been the subject of a warning notice for potential financial support directions) – Clive Pugh shares his thoughts.

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Public service pension schemes

Pensions Ombudsman determinations in incorrect pension information complaints

Can providing a member with incorrect pension information give rise to an entitlement that would not otherwise have existed? In this post, Louise Pettit considers two Ombudsman determinations with very different outcomes.

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Public Sector Pensions Quarterly

Have you seen our new public sector pensions quarterly newsletter? As the name suggests, it’s a digest of legal news and developments affecting public sector pension schemes over the past couple of months. Sign up below to receive the next edition direct to your inbox.

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Cyber security and data

Cyber security for pension schemes in 2024

This month Samantha Howell was delighted to write a feature for Professional Pensions magazine on her specialist subject – why cyber security should be top of trustees’ agendas.

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International data transfers: actions for pension schemes

The law on international data transfers has changed this month – Richard Pettit explains the changes and sets out the actions pension scheme trustees must take.

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Other news

Dashboards are coming – and now we know when

On 25 March the DWP published its much anticipated guidance on connecting to the new pensions dashboards ecosystem. The guidance includes the timetable of staging dates for connecting, and confirms that the largest schemes should be connecting by 30 April 2025. We examine the requirements, and the legal status of the guidance in this post:

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AI and the pensions industry

AI – or Artificial Intelligence - is here. Chris Brown asks what are the risks for the pensions industry – and where are the opportunities? 

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Reform of Trusts law in Scotland – what does it mean for (Scottish) pension schemes?

This article considers the implications of the new Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Act 2024 for Scottish pension schemes. The new Act includes a significant new discretionary power in relation to taking into account non-financial considerations (including ESG factors) when making investment decisions.

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ESG update – PLSA publishes annual update to voting & stewardship guidelines

We review this year’s PLSA stewardship & voting guidelines and identify some of the key themes, including cyber security, AI and ESG factors such as climate change, biodiversity and social factors.

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Team news

Hot on the heels of last month’s news of Director Chris Brown’s promotion to the partnership, this month we were delighted to announce that Steven Hull will be joining us as a Partner with effect from 1 May. With Senior Associate Kelly Beattie joining us this month too, the Burges Salmon pension team is now bigger and better than ever – welcome to the team Steven and Kelly!

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We hope you find the above helpful but, as always, please do get in touch if have any questions or you would like to discuss anything further.

Key contact

Richard Knight

Richard Knight Partner

  • Head of Pensions Practice
  • Pensions Services
  • Pensions Legal Advice

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