​Welcome to our monthly update on current legal issues for trustees of DC pension schemes, designed to help you stay up-to-date with key developments between trustee meetings, and to support the legal update item on your next trustee agenda.

TPR guidance on Chair’s statement NEW!

The Pensions Regulator has published guidance clarifying its expectations as to the content of the DC Chair’s statement, and highlighting where more detailed information about scheme processes and evaluation methods is expected. Read more

Our guide to preparing for the Chair’s statement will help you identify the processes you need to have in place to meet the legal requirements of the statement.

ACTION: Review whether your scheme’s processes require updating to meet the Regulator’s expectations for the Chair’s statement.

Transaction cost disclosure UPDATED!

From 3 January 2018, the FCA’s Handbook rules will require asset managers to provide certain information about transaction costs on request. This will help trustees meet their obligations to review and consider the value for money of transaction costs and administration charges.

The government is consulting on plans to require schemes that provide DC benefits to publish details of investment charges annually and to provide more detailed disclosure on costs and charges in the Chair’s statement. The changes are due to take effect from 6 April 2018 (and in relation to the Chair’s statement, for the first scheme year ending on or after 6 April 2018). Read more

ACTION: Liaise with asset managers to gather cost information in Q1 2018 and in good time ahead of the deadline for your next Chair’s statement.

TPR governance expectations UPDATED!

The Pensions Regulator has published three tranches of guidance as part of its ‘21st Century Trusteeship’ campaign, which aims to improve governance standards. The themes are ‘good governance’, ‘clear rules and responsibilities’ and ‘clear purpose and strategy’.

The guidance includes links to other material, including a newly-published guide to data improvement plans, example committee terms of reference, a sample business plan and a sample annual planner. Read more

ACTION: Review the guidance and consider whether scheme practices should be updated.

Prepare for GDPR compliance

Preparation for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (deadline 25 May 2018) requires schemes to undertake a wide-ranging review of data protection issues and practices. Standard processes, contracts with administrators and other data processors, and member communications will need to be updated.

Our guide to GDPR compliance planning will help you to prioritise actions to achieve compliance in good time. Read more

ACTION: Ensure that you have a plan in place to achieve GDPR compliance, including updating administration agreements and other provider contracts, plus member communications.

Watch this space

– The government proposes changes to statutory transfer rights from late 2018, to help combat pension scams. Read more

Anti-money laundering duties

Trustees of occupational pension schemes have additional compliance duties under new anti-money laundering regulations from 26 June 2017.

The most immediate duties relate to record-keeping and to provision of information when entering into a transaction/business relationship with parties (such as banks/some advisers) that are required to carry out money laundering checks.

There is also a requirement to provide HMRC with information, normally by 31 January following a tax year in which specified tax charges have been triggered (first deadline: 31 January 2018). Schemes will be required to register with the Trust Registration Service to provide this information. Read more

ACTION: Review the data required and implement a process to fill any gaps. Confirm whether the HMRC reporting duty has been triggered by a relevant tax charge in 2016/17.