On 5 February 2010, the Pensions Regulator published a consultation paper containing revised guidance on avoiding delays when winding-up schemes. It is substantially the same as the original 2008 guidance (reviewed in our bulletin here). In particular, the suggested 2 year longstop deadline for the completion of key activities in connection with a winding-up remains. Amongst the additions to the original guidance are a list of key activities when winding-up defined contribution schemes and a new item to the list of "unavoidable delays" (namely, when it is impractical to secure benefits with an insurance company).
However, it is worth noting that the draft guidance no longer contains any reference to the equalisation of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs). Whilst not particularly instructive, the 2008 guidance did contain a bland statement to the effect that trustees were responsible for taking the most appropriate action for their scheme. Following the ministerial statement confirming the government's view that GMPs should be equalised regardless of whether there is a comparator (see our last bulletin here), the absence of any reference suggests that the Government and regulatory authorities have not yet settled on a preferred approach.
The consultation paper can be accessed on the Regulator's website here. Consultation closes on 5 May 2010.