Policy priorities

The PLSA’s policy priorities for 2022

The PLSA Policy Board has set out its priorities for 2022. Nigel Peaple explains what we will be focusing on in 2022, and why.

PLSA members and supporters reading this will know that there is no such thing as a quiet year in pensions. This year will be no exception, as our policy work sees us continue to raise standards and represent the pensions industry as new regulations take shape. We’ll also be collaborating with government, parliament and regulators – all with the objective of ensuring everyone gets a better income in retirement. 

Our Policy Board reviews the PLSA’s policy priorities and agenda annually. It is made up of experts from across our membership (see ‘Meet the Board’), to make sure that the PLSA tackles the issues that matter the most to our membership. 

This year’s priorities are: 

Levelling up pensions 

What we want to achieve:

  • We strongly believe that everyone should have an adequate income in retirement. Expanding the scope and level of automatic enrolment to help more people save into a pension, is our top strategic policy objective for 2022. 

What we’ll do:

  • Later this year, we’ll be producing a new report on pensions adequacy and automatic enrolment reform. 
  • Throughout the year we’ll campaign for the government to make the changes it committed to after the 2017 Automatic Enrolment Review. These include setting a timeline to introduce pension saving from the first pound of salary, eliminating the lower earnings band, and introducing auto-enrolment for 18 to 21 year olds by the mid-2020s. 
  • We’ll also campaign for automatic enrolment contribution levels to increase to 12% by 2030, with a 50/50 split between employers and employees. 

Pensions dashboards 

What we want to achieve:

  • The PLSA will continue to support the development and roll-out of Pension Dashboards. 

What we’ll do:

  • The pensions industry will need to meet its obligations for onboarding into Pensions Dashboards in late 2022. We want to make sure that that schemes and providers are well prepared to do so.   
  • As the consumer protection regime for dashboards develops, the PLSA wants to make sure that it is fit for purpose. 
  • We’ll also continue to make sure that regulators, government and other stakeholders understand the industry’s needs as Pensions Dashboards continue to evolve. 

Defined Benefit Funding Code 

What we want to achieve:

  • The PLSA wants to make sure that The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) proposed Defined Benefit (DB) Funding Code is fit for purpose for all DB schemes.

What we’ll do:

  • The PLSA will continue to represent the pensions industry in responding to TPR’s proposals to reform the DB funding regime. 
  • In particular, we want to make sure that the Code offers sufficient flexibility for schemes that are still open to new accrual. 

Responsible Investment and Stewardship 

What we want to achieve:

  • We want to support schemes with responsible investment and stewardship and help them fulfil their reporting responsibilities. 

What we’ll do:

  • The PLSA will play its part in supporting measures adopted at the COP26 summit in 2021. 
  • There will be further progress on joint industry initiatives with the Investment Association and the association of British insurers on Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting. 

Local Government Pension Scheme 

What we want to achieve:

  • We want to better understand and analyse the current challenges facing the LGPS, then use those findings to propose follow-up actions. 

What we’ll do:

  • Our State of the Nation research is already under way with LGPS schemes. We’ll complete and publish this, including how we propose to help address the issues we find. 

DC Decumulation 

What we want to achieve:

  • We want members of DC schemes to better understand their options and achieve the best possible outcomes when they start to access their DC pension savings. 

What we’ll do:

  • We will campaign for the adoption of our guided retirement income choices (GRIC) proposals. The proposals include introducing a statutory obligation on schemes to support members via signposting to suitable products. It also identifies appropriate and stringent standards for governance and effective communications.
  • As well as our targeted priorities, we will carry out a wide range of other policy work. This will include responding to government and regulatory consultations – see page 26 for a round-up of our 2021 responses. We’ll also continue to develop PLSA initiatives such as the promotion of the Retirement Living Standards, the maintenance of the Pension Quality Mark and the Cost Transparency Initiative in association with the Investment Association and the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board.

Meet the Policy Board