November 2015 Compass

25 November 2015

This month we focus on the Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 delivered on 25 November 2015.  For pensions the key Government decisions concerned the step-up in the minimum Automatic Enrolment contribution levels being delayed by six months and the future level of the State single-tier pension.

Also significantly we report on H.M. Revenue & Custom’s (HMRC) latest guidance on VAT (concerning the deduction of VAT on pension fund management costs for defined benefit schemes) and the administration of the new Lifetime Allowance tax protections (to be known as Fixed Protection 2016 and Individual Protection 2016).

We also consider Department for Work and Pension's consultations on outlawing member-borne commission payments and reducing regulatory burdens, while noting its decision against changing the Investment Regulations to dovetail with the Law Commission’s report on the ‘Fiduciary Duties of Investment Intermediaries’.

Elsewhere in Compass we look at:

  • The National Audit Office’s report on the implementation of the automatic enrolment policy;
  • A High Court judgment that illustrates how the courts will construe pension increase provisions where the power of amendment is breached; and
  • The last chance for people to make a claim for compensation from the Equitable Life Payment Scheme, which closes on 31 December 2015.

This month’s articles may be viewed from the list on the left side of this page.

Stop press: A further DWP consultation on Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2016 and a Pensions Regulator consultation on a draft DC Code of Practice have been published just as Compass is finalised. We will address these publications in our December edition of Compass.

If you have any questions regarding the topics covered, please email

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