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What's New in GPT

Welcome to the latest updated version of The Guide for Pension Trustees – September 2017

The Guide for Pension Trustees aims to keep its readers up to date with changes in legislation and regulation, and with developments in practice, that affect pension trustees and others concerned in the management of pensions.

Welcome to the latest update of The Guide.

This update contains fewer changes than some of the previous ones, reflecting the disruption to ‘business as usual’ by the General Election on 8 June and its unexpected outcome, together with the usual summer slowdown.

However, there have still been some developments of note, which affect matters covered by The Guide and have been incorporated.

New items covered in The Guide

Apart from housekeeping and general updating the following key issues have been specifically added to The Guide.

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

More clarity has emerged over the way in which occupational pension schemes are affected by the GDPR. This includes new service agreements with service providers, new disclosures to members and processes to enable trustees to identify, assess and if necessary report breaches within a 72-hour timeframe. These new requirements have to be in place by May 2018, meaning that those who have not yet started down the road will need to do so promptly. [See 10.10.6]

Investment management

A new section on the growing fiduciary management service sets out the basics and some helpful advice. [See 19.1.3]

New Money Laundering regulations

New regulations update the existing regulatory regime. They impose new record-keeping requirements on trustees of occupational pension schemes along with the obligation to provide and maintain information for a new HMRC register of beneficial owners of the scheme. [See 10.5.13]

Dependants’ benefits for same-sex spouses

The Supreme Court judgment in the case of Walker v Innospec and Others has held that the cut-off date of December 2005 contained in the Act, before which there is no right to survivor’s benefits for same-sex spouses, is discriminatory and breaches EU equality laws. Schemes will have to seek legal advice on whether and how to review their current spouses’ pension provisions. [See 10.9.12 (Note)]

Finance Act 2017

One of the few items to remain in the Act (extensively truncated owing to the need to get it through Parliament before the election) was the new overseas transfer charge on some transfers to an overseas pension scheme, together with new information requirements [see 17.2.9]. Also included were the ending of contributions to section 615 schemes, together with other measures to align the tax treatment of foreign pensions with UK pensions. [See 2.22]

Tougher regulation

These specific developments come against the background of a tougher stance by the Pensions Regulator, which has recently fined trustees for failure to submit annual returns and chair’s statements. They point out that these failures may indicate more serious failures elsewhere in those schemes. As their Twenty First Century Trustees project focused on raising standards of trusteeship develops, pension scheme trustees can expect closer attention from the Regulator in the future.

I hope you find the updates useful.

Kevin LeGrand

If you have any questions about this Update, please contact the Helpdesk on 0800 980 1332, or email

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