Opperman sets out Pension Schemes Act regulation drafting timetable

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has set out a timetable for the consultation and introduction of regulation in relation to legislation outlined in the Pension Schemes Act 2021.

The act received Royal Assent on 11 February and the government is progressing the secondary legislation to enact the changes it contains.

The consultation on regulations for climate-related reporting requirements has already been launched and the regulations will be introduced to parliament in the summer to come into force ahead of COP26.

Consultation on the majority of draft regulations for The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) new powers will take place in the spring, with the powers and new criminal offences expected to come into force in the autumn.

“For the duty to give notices and statements to the regulator in respect of certain events, we will consult on the draft regulations later this year, for commencement as soon as practical thereafter,” Opperman noted.

The government will consult on draft regulations for legislation around pension scams and collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes in early summer, with the scam measures coming into force from early autumn.

It plans to consult on pensions dashboards regulations “later this year” and lay draft regulations before parliament for debate in 2022.

“Delivery remains on track for 2023 in line with the plans published by the Pensions Dashboards Programme,” Opperman added.

Regulation for defined benefit (DB) scheme funding will be consulted on “later this year”, after the government has engaged with “key interested parties”.

Opperman stated that the government would be working with TPR as the regulator develops the new funding code, which will be subject to a full public consultation.

Commenting on the Ministerial Statement, LCP partner, David Everett, said: “The government has multiple priorities and each of them requires further regulations or guidance before it can be taken forward. 

“The long list of powers arising from the Pension Schemes Act will need new laws in a range of areas and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) cannot physically move them all forward at the same time. 

“The minister’s statement suggests that progress in areas such as climate change, TPR powers, pensions dashboards and CDC schemes are a priority. 

“The language on scheme funding suggests that reform may be moving into the ‘slow lane’, especially if TPR feels that it needs to see DWP’s regulations before it can publish its own consultation.”

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