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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...

19 September 2014

A step in the right direction for pension funding - PPF may recognise ABCs that have a proper valuation behind them

By Deborah Cane I was very pleased to read in Professional Pensions recently that the Pensions Protection Fund (PPF) are expected to recognise a wider class of Asset Backed Contributions (ABCs) (those that have proper third party valuations behind them) and see this is a further endorsement to companies that...

28 July 2014

Can guidance really address the big retirement question?

By Philip Smith and Tim Sexton The Chancellors’ budget reforms have ushered in a new era for defined contribution (DC) pension savers. Suddenly, pensions have become attractive and flexible tax efficient savings vehicles freed from their previous shackles. We are finally to be trusted with managing our own savings –...

03 July 2014

De bunking-derisking myths

By Ben Stone 2014 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for pension schemes transferring risks to the insurance market via bulk annuities (buy-ins and buy-outs) and longevity swaps. With over £10bn of deals already completed, the question is no longer whether 2014 will be a record-breaker but by...

24 June 2014

The end of contracting-out : Employers must act now to understand costs and options

With all the excitement and press coverage around the recent Budget changes to DC pensions, the ending of contracting-out for DB schemes in April 2016 may seem a long way away. However, for those employers who wish to make changes to their schemes to mitigate potentially significant increases in National...

05 June 2014

Going Dutch isn't a free lunch

By Philip Smith Proposed as the answer to the UK’s pensions challenges, collective defined contribution (CDC) provides a middle ground (of sorts) between defined benefit (DB) and individual defined contribution (DC) plans with the promise of economies of scale and fairer sharing of risk. Although common in the Netherlands, we...

28 May 2014

The start of a recovery? Trends in pensions accounting over 2013

Our recent survey of over 140 of our clients with UK defined benefit pension schemes reporting under IFRS or UK GAAP looks at market trends in accounting assumptions over 2013. Companies’ experience was varied, depending on both their asset and liability profiles. Long awaited signs of recovery finally appeared during...

27 May 2014

Pensions - a growing headache for charities

By Ian Oakley-Smith and Mark Jennings Just as many charities are concentrating their efforts on cutting costs against a backdrop of reducing income and donations, pension costs are still moving in the wrong direction, and it could be about to get a lot worse! Many charities participate in the Local...

15 May 2014

Simple can be best – The PwC Reservoir Trust

By Deborah Cane Back in December I wrote about the inherent dangers of trapped surpluses and how our Reservoir Trust has been popular in solving that problem. For those of you that aren’t aware, our Reservoir Trust (RT) was developed in 2007 in response to demand from our clients for...