The DWP has issued a call for evidence on the impact of funding DB pensions, as announced in the Autumn Statement, when the Chancellor expressed the Government’s determination to ensure that DB pensions regulation “does not act as a brake on investment and growth”.

Click here for the DWP call for evidence.

Evidence is sought in two areas. The deadline for responses to the first has already passed: whether the Pensions Regulator should be given a new statutory objective to consider the long-term affordability to sponsoring employers of recovery plans. However, it is arguable that the Pensions Act 2004 already requires the Regulator to do this, even if it does not express the requirement as a statutory objective.

The other questions address whether, and if so how, to allow companies undertaking valuations in 2013 or later to smooth asset and liability values over a longer period rather than use current market spot rates. Responses are required by 7 March 2013.

If change is considered necessary, more detailed proposals and the amending legislation will take place “as soon as practicable in 2013”.