The House of Lords has approved the Pension Schemes Bill meaning that Royal Assent will shortly be given. We will be publishing a more detailed summary soon, but one point which has been confirmed in recent days is that the powers in Part 3 of the Bill will not be retrospective.
Part 3 amends the Pensions Regulator's powers as well as introducing new criminal offences and the ability to impose fines of up to £1m. In response to a Parliamentary question, Guy Opperman confirmed that none of the provisions in Part 3 would be retrospective and that the regulatory changes would apply to all schemes after the Act comes into force.
2021 will see further legislative steps to introduce the regulations detailing the implementation of parts of the Bill. Additionally, Guy Opperman has indicated that further legislation is to be introduced so that the regulatory regime for defined benefit consolidator schemes is put on a statutory footing.
None of the provisions in Part 3 of the Bill will be retrospective and the new criminal sanctions and information gathering powers will apply to all schemes where the act occurs, or in the case of a series of acts commences, after the powers come into force.