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24 August 2015

Who needs it the most?

By Steve Blackmore Financial advice is an odd thing. Generally, the best advice is received by those with the most. The less you have the less able you are to afford advice. But who needs it the most? If the higher paid get their finances wrong they don’t go skiing....

20 August 2015

Give me an ISA any day

By Philip Smith The ISA has been one of the greatest long-term savings success stories – simple, easy to understand and most importantly trusted. So it should be no surprise that people are attracted to its simplicity when thinking about their retirement savings. Our research shows that one of the...

10 August 2015

All for one and one for all

By Raj Mody I believe the best company pension schemes will involve everyone. They will be open to all and all will want to join. Management in particular will be members and their active participation will focus the attention of senior management and will benefit the scheme as a result....

08 July 2015

Local Government Pension Scheme asset pooling

By Mark Packham Today’s announcement on asset pooling should go a long way to address the affordability of the Local Government Pension Scheme. The reward for getting this right should add up to £600 million a year across the country. There are a few strong local initiatives already bubbling up,...

Summer Budget – the impact of the pension changes

By Peter McDonald Further to the Government's announcement that it will launch a consultation to radically change how pensions are taxed, my view is that this review is long over-due as the tax treatment of pensions has got out of hand and is overly complicated. Continual changes have undermined confidence...

01 July 2015

Pension scheme deficits now extending further into the future

By Steve Blackmore The latest PwC survey shows that businesses are taking longer to clear pension scheme deficits In my most recent blogs, I have been considering pension scheme deficits, and pertinent to this would be some recent PwC research, showing that more than half of company pension funds have...

29 May 2015

The new Pensions Minister

By Raj Mody We now have a new Pensions Minister. The appointment of Ros Altmann marks a step change in how government regards our industry. Our new minister has already outlined her priorities. She has said that getting the new DC regime of flexibility and choice sorted and in place...

14 May 2015

Deflation and pensions

Inflation is a key factor for many defined benefit pension schemes, and rates have fallen sharply over the last 18 months. Most economic commentators expect there will be some deflation in 2015, albeit possibly a 'blip'. However there is likely to be a risk of deflation for some time to...

18 March 2015

Extending pension freedoms to existing pensioners

By: Peter McDonald, Pensions partner We welcome greater freedom of choice and flexibility within the pensions annuity market. However, it remains to be seen how the industry will enable the changes and ensure that existing annuity holders do not make poor choices in the rush to cash-in. This further flexibility...

Reduction in the lifetime pensions allowance

By: Philip Smith, head of defined contribution pensions A further reduction in the lifetime pensions allowance will affect a significant number of employers and employees with defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, and will create further overall uncertainty by another lowering of limits. This reduction means that many employees working...

03 March 2015

Amey selects Skyval to manage £1bn of pensions obligations across six pension schemes

Amey, one of the UK’s leading public and regulated services providers, recently selected our Skyval offering as the platform to manage the pension obligations of its six defined benefit pension schemes, with assets totalling almost £1bn. This follows a detailed review of the pensions platforms in the market. Amey chose...

25 February 2015

Pension deficits on the rise again – have you thought about ABCs?

By Deborah Cane The total deficit of schemes in the Pension Protection Fund 7800 Index has surged by nearly £322bn over the past 12 months.Low interest rates and related government bond returns, at a time in 2015 when many businesses are agreeing their scheme funding valuation, could result in increasing...

18 December 2014

PPF levy – fully baked at last?

By Julia Dickson The PPF has provided an early Christmas present with its final consultation update, with a few tweaks to finalise the treatment of ABCs, exemption of mortgage charges and calculations using employee numbers in calculating PPF levy charges for 15/16. So at this stage, more like the icing...

03 December 2014

#AS 2014 – PwC comments on new state pension amount

Raj Mody, head of pensions consulting The Government has announced that the new state pension will be at least £151.25 per week, with the actual amount to be confirmed this time next year. While it's interesting to know the minimum level of the new single tier state pension, it matters...

#AS 2014 – PwC comments on changes to joint-life annuities

By Raj Mody Raj Mody, head of pensions consulting at PwC commenting on the tax changes to joint-life annuities when they are passed on to a spouse after death; The abolition of the death tax on joint-life annuities will boost the attractiveness of annuities and level the playing field with...

21 November 2014

The new UK pension rules could be great for individuals but are a real headache for others

By Chris Bulleyment So pensions are in vogue again, the media tell us. And with groundbreaking changes being introduced to the UK pensions regime from next Spring, that is a fair assumption to make. We are going to see more people using their pension plans as a flexible and tax...

17 November 2014

Changing routes for investigating the buyout market

By Ben Stone Since the launch of Skyval Insure three weeks ago, we have seen unprecedented market interest in this new and unique proposition which provides scheme-specific initial buyout pricing direct from insurers within days. As with any ground-breaking innovation, imitation can often be the best form of flattery. It...

03 November 2014

Your chance to take part in our pensions scheme funding survey 2014

By Alison Fleming Scheme funding approaches have been the subject of much discussion in recent months following the Pensions Regulator's new scheme funding code of practice issued in June. This highlights the importance of implementing an integrated approach to understanding and managing risks across the three key “strands” of covenant,...

10 October 2014

The new PPF levy – how much is it going to cost you?

By Julia Dickson The PPF’s consultation update on the 15/16 levy, published earlier this week provided more clarity in how PPF levy will be calculated, but confirmed for definite a few key areas that employers need to be aware of in managing their 15/16 PPF levy bill. There remain outstanding...

29 September 2014

The No Vote – impact on Asset Backed Contributions

By Deborah Cane Over the last few years ABCs (Asset Backed Contributions) have been an increasingly popular way for employers to fund their schemes. These investments involve the sponsoring employer using business assets to secure cash which is paid to the pension scheme. Over 60 ABCs have been put in...