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21 September 2018

Improving the pensions accounting 'experience'

By Rick Watts Clearly no-one is a fan of bad surprises, but good surprises can be just as annoying in certain circumstances. For example, let’s assume you have used all your contacts to get tickets to the latest big comedy performance or concert, and then you find out that someone...

06 September 2018

Time to modernise pension accounting

By Brian Peters, Financial Reporting for Pensions Leader Large multinational companies typically operate employee benefit plans according to local custom and practice for their workforce around the world. PwC has carried out research in to how companies collect and process their pension information around the world for financial reporting purposes...

16 July 2018

Don't be fooled by the emergence of pension accounting surpluses

By Brian Peters Actuaries are using more sophisticated approaches to setting the discount rate for IAS 19 financial reporting purposes. These approaches might involve the removal of certain bonds from the index that are arguably not corporates such as university bonds. In addition, actuaries may include corporate bonds which are...

01 May 2018

Jack and the pension bean (scheme)-stalk

By Deborah Cane Once upon a time there was an Employer called Jack Plc who was worried about the cash cost of funding its defined benefit pension scheme. Also, Jack’s trustees wanted security from the golden hen (Jack’s parent company) but Jack Plc did not know how to reach up...

16 April 2018

DB Pensions: the next charity crisis?

By Dhrupti Shah and Ian Oakley-Smith In 2017 charities were on the hook for over £7 billion in defined benefit (DB) pension liabilities – this could well be higher now - how can your scheme be managed? And do you understand your covenant? A report by Hymans Robertson in 2017...

21 February 2018

Accounting for mortality trends

By Brian Peters The gerontologist Aubrey de Grey believes that the first man to live for 1,000 years is alive today. This is based on a theory that technological advances in medical science will resolve and ultimately stop the ageing process that currently leads to a life span. On the...

08 February 2018

Treating pension scheme members like customers - what can we learn from retailers?

By Stuart Bradbury Communications is big business, with UK retailers leading the world at grabbing the public’s attention and making it easy to take action (in their case, to purchase their goods and services). In contrast, the pensions industry has long grappled with the difficulty of effectively communicating with pension...

08 December 2017

Five PenTech predictions for 2018

By Raj Mody, partner and global head of pensions at PwC This article first appeared in Professional Pensions on 6 December 2017 At the start of this year, I made five predictions about what lay ahead for pensions technology - "PenTech" - in 2017. Here's how I did, and also...

04 December 2017

Counting the pension cost

By Brian Peters, Pensions partner This article first appeared in Pensions Expert on 13th November 2017 http://www.pensions-expert.com/Special-Features/The-Cut/Counting-the-pension-cost Many investors, like most people, do not really understand pensions. While there is now a lot of pension information in financial statements, unless you happen to be sitting next to an actuary it...

20 November 2017

P(l)aying by the rules - the top 6 changes to the PPF Levy that you need to know

The Pension Protection Fund (“PPF”) has recently released its new levy rules for the next three years. There will be some significant winners and losers - Although the aggregate PPF collection target for the upcoming year is due to fall by 10% from £615m to £550m, 1 in 5 schemes...

11 October 2017

Can IRM make scheme monitoring and reporting easier, not harder?

By Jane Evans Integrated Risk Management (IRM) – the idea of looking collectively at all the risks that might ultimately prevent a scheme paying out all its member benefits over time – is an excellent concept. It would be crazy to spend a lot of energy solving a particular scheme...

19 September 2017

Disclosing pension accounting liabilities - three top tips to consider

By Brian Peters The Financial Reporting Council has announced a thematic review of companies’ disclosures about pension costs to encourage more transparent reporting of pension accounting liabilities and risks. This is partly because pension liabilities have grown substantially in recent years. According to PwC’s Skyval Index covering 5,900 UK defined...

05 May 2017

The 'Big Bang' theory of pensions

According to generally accepted wisdom, in the very early stages of the Big Bang, the Universe underwent a massive period of expansion called inflation, and the effects have been felt ever since. A different type of inflation has been continuing more or less since defined benefit pension schemes were created....

16 March 2017

Why pension schemes must act now on cyber risk

By Peter Sparshott Is your pension scheme at risk of a cyber attack? The unfortunate truth is, absolutely. The UK’s occupational pensions sector manages around £3 trillion worth of assets and each scheme holds exactly the sort of valuable data most coveted by hackers: names, national insurance numbers, dates of...

08 March 2017

A quiet day for Pensions - Is the Chancellor keeping his powder dry until the Autumn Budget?

By Steven Dicker As Budgets go, it was a quiet day for pensions, which many will welcome as they continue to struggle with the array of challenges already before them. However, hidden in the detail, the Treasury revealed that it had taken in much more tax as a result of...

02 March 2017

What we learned from the Pensions Green Paper

By Jeremy May This article first appeared in The Spectator on 28th February 2017: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/02/pensions-green-paper-pwc/ You’ve saved for years into a defined benefit pension scheme in the expectation it will provide you with a secure and comfortable retirement. Then, without warning and through no fault of your own, the company...

12 January 2017

PenTech must facilitate better decision making, not hinder it

By Andrew Drake If last century’s science fiction were to be believed, the 21st Century should have been a time of technological wonder. My morning commute transformed by a hoverboard and meetings being held in a hologram format. The reality, I’m afraid, is not quite so exciting. But the developments...

03 January 2017

Five key PenTech predictions for 2017

By Raj Mody As one year draws to a close it’s customary to look back at its highlights. The past year has been tumultuous in many ways, including for pension fund trustees and corporate sponsors. Corporate failures, market volatility and unexpected political results have all caused uncertainty and new challenges...

07 December 2016

Disclosing pension risk: remain silent and be thought a fool or speak and remove all doubt?

By Paul Allen It should come as no surprise that defined benefit pension risk affects the value that an external investor will pay for a business. Estimating the scale of the impact is a matter for some debate as there is not a single answer to the question of how...

23 November 2016

Were today's pensions announcements a missed opportunity?

By Steven Dicker The retention of salary sacrifice for pension contributions is a welcome support to retirement saving. However, with no announcements on the tax relief taper or boosting LISAs, today was a missed opportunity to simplify the labyrinthine rules around tax relief on pension contributions and clarify the overall...