2017 promises to be as busy as 2016 for those involved with running pension schemes. Here we mention some of the developments we can expect to see over the next few months.
- A Government green paper is due to be published “on the challenges facing defined benefit pensions"
- The deadline for submitting scheme data, and for the certification of contingent assets/asset-backed contributions/mortgages, for the purposes of calculating the 2017/18 PPF levy is 31 March 2017
- Trustees of schemes that were contracted out at the date that contracting out was abolished on 6 April 2016 who wish to amend their scheme rules by resolution to provide for fixed rate GMP revaluation to apply on termination of pensionable service (rather than on termination of contracted-out service) will have to do so by 5 April 2017
- Individuals wishing to claiming individual protection 2014 against a lifetime allowance charge will have to do so by 5 April 2017
- Changes to the basis on which statutory money purchase illustrations (SMPIs) should be prepared will come into force
- A prototype of a “Pensions dashboard” which allows individuals to view all their retirement savings in one place is expected to become available
- A judgment is expected in the British Airways v Trustees of the British Airways Scheme case. BA is challenging a discretionary increase to benefits awarded by the BA Pension Trustees. The discretionary increase was awarded following the switch from RPI to CPI for the purposes of revaluing deferred benefits and increasing pensions in payment, and is payable in addition to the CPI increase
- The appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Walker v Innospec Limited is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal ruled that it is permissible for a pension scheme to provide a spouse’s pension to a civil partner in relation to pensionable service accrued on or after 5 December 2005 only
- An appeal is expected to be heard against the High Court’s decision in FDR Ltd v Dutton. The High Court ruled that amendments made in 1991 to the scheme’s rules relating to pension increases were subject to a proviso in the power of amendment restricting prejudicial changes. As a result, members should receive annual pension increases of the greater of 3% and 5% LPI.