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Coronavirus and pensions

Guidance and insights from ICAEW, regulators and other resources for employers, trustees and advisers on how the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is impacting pensions.

ICAEW insights

Furlough Leave: New Treasury Direction (22 May 2020)

On 15 April 2020, the Government published a Treasury Direction on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme). This was updated last Friday (22 May 2020) and the full updated Direction can be found here but in summary, these are the major changes and clarifications.

What now for dividends

We consider how the market will handle dividend suspensions and what the path back to dividend payments for investors looks like

What investors need to know about responsible tax

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Responsible tax is not familiar enough for investors, finds Carlos Torneros, although things must change if the investment industry wants to improve its ESG credentials.

GP pension forms and COVID-19

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Access pension forms for GPs through the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Highlights of HMCR’s latest Employer Bulletins

17 March 2020: ICAEW’s Tax Faculty summarises HMRC’s latest Employer Bulletins, which included commentary on the Budget announcements and information on the changes to off-payroll working.

Guidance and updates from the Pensions Regulator

Check COVID-19 (coronavirus): what you need to consider, the Pensions Regulator's hub, for the latest information.

Automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions: COVID-19 guidance for employers

The Pensions Regulator 06-05-2020

Guidance on auto-enrolment duties, maintaining pension contributions, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Advice on pensions and the CJRS covers payroll processes and pension contributions, employers paying more than the statutory minimum contribution, reducing the employer contribution to the statutory minimum, employer consultation requirements, paying employer contributions less than the AE statutory minimum, and auto-enrolment duties for furloughed staff.

DC scheme management and investment: COVID-19 guidance for trustees

The Pensions Regulator 17-04-2020

Guide to support trustees highlighting good practice ideas and outlining the regulator's current response to legislative breaches, trustee actions, or employer actions that might impact the trustees. It covers investments and employers wanting to reduce contributions to a DC scheme.

DC pension contributions: COVID-19 technical guidance for large employers

The Pensions Regulator 17-04-2020

Technical guidance applicable to large employers on how the the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will affect pension contribution calculations, specifically where there is a salary sacrifice arrangement and concerning defined contribution (DC) certification. Includes examples.

Scheme administration: COVID-19 guidance for trustees and public service

The Pensions Regulator 02-04-2020

Update from the regulator advising pension trustees or those running a public service scheme to assess whether their business continuity plans are adequate and to work with their administrators to ensure critical processes are maintained and prioritised.

DB scheme funding and investment: COVID-19 guidance for trustees

The Pensions Regulator 27-03-2020

Guide to support trustees highlighting good practice ideas and outlining the regulator's current response to legislative breaches or trustee actions. It covers schemes completing their valuations now, employers' requests for easements, investments, and transfer values.

DB scheme funding: COVID-19 guidance for employers

The Pensions Regulator 27-03-2020

Update from the regulator on expectations for employers to provide information to trustees of defined benefit pension schemes. It is strongly recommended that employers document their position regarding the treatment of their schemes.

Other external resources

COVID-19 and your pension: Where to get help

PPF 26-05-2020

Guide produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), the Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Ombudsman for pension savers. It outlines the protections that are in place and highlights sources of free, impartial guidance.

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