Getting to grips with the new Pensions Bill

United Kingdom
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You will no doubt be aware that the Government recently published the Pensions Bill 2004, in an attempt to provide a framework to restore confidence in pensions saving.

CMS Cameron McKenna have produced an on-line Plain English Guide to the Pensions Bill. This easy to use guide has been put together to help you understand the raft of changes proposed by the Bill and how they will affect employers, trustees, advisers and members.

This Guide will be updated on an ongoing basis and we will contact you when any significant changes are made. 

The main points of the Guide include:

  • The demise of OPRA and its replacement by "The Pensions Regulator".
  • New powers for the Regulator, including the ability to freeze benefits, a power to direct  third parties to take steps to assist trustees, additional information gathering powers and publishing Codes of Practice.
  • Whistleblowing obligations will be extended.
  • The establishment of the Pension Protection Fund  and the introduction of levies to fund it.
  • Details of the scheme specific funding standard that will replace the Minimum Funding Requirement.
  • New member-nominated trustee requirements.
  • An increase in the level of knowledge and understanding expected of trustees.
  • Protection of pension rights on business transfers.
  • Reducing the maximum level of annual increases required by legislation from 5% to 2.5% for benefits earned after April 2005.
  • Changes to State pensions, including allowing individuals to defer their basic State pension in return for a lump sum at a later date.