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22 June 2016

Flexible retirement options; helping your members navigate pension freedoms

By Ros Williams According to research carried out by PwC, almost four in five schemes already have or are considering putting a long-term de-risking strategy in place. Member options exercises are becoming an increasingly popular tool to manage a de-risking strategy as the demand for flexible access to pension savings...

16 June 2016

Dividends, reserves and pension deficits

By Brian Peters Dividends can only be paid out of distributable reserves, a legally defined sum of money broadly representing the aggregate of undistributed past profits and an element of value creation. A pension deficit has to be deducted from these reserves on the basis that the company's legal obligation...

09 June 2016

The only way is up… or is it?

By Deborah Cane The problem of funding UK defined benefit pension schemes grows each year. This is confirmed by the recent funding survey from tPR showing that pension deficits have risen, with the tPR estimating most schemes will see a deficit increase of 20-25% this year. This deficit growth is...

29 March 2016

The information advantage: navigating the pension risk maze

By Gabrielle Coggins You don’t have to delve far into a daily newspaper to pick up on one of the many challenges currently facing Britain’s Defined Benefit schemes. Whether it is market volatility, changing regulation or increasing life expectancy, the sponsors and trustees who are responsible for the stewardship of...

16 March 2016

Budget 2016: A more flexible future for pensions?

By Philip Smith It was very interesting to see today's Budget announce that the tax efficient access age for the new Lifetime ISA (LISA) has been set at 60. If this marks the start of a transition towards reform of pensions taxation and the introduction of the pension ISA, it...

Budget 2016: Lifetime ISA introduced and a rise in ISA limit - So what does this mean for pensions?

By Philip Smith In line with our pre-budget prediction, today's Budget introduced a new Lifetime ISA for younger savers and a rise in the overall ISA limit to £20,000 per annum. However, despite George Osborne feeling the time isn't right for major pension reform, my view is that the race...

14 March 2016

Are EU ready?

By Nikesh Patel The EU Referendum, and impact of a "Leave" vote, is one of the the key risks facing UK pension strategy in 2016. It is impossible to forecast the outcome and, as we have seen from the Scottish referendum and the most recent General Election, sentiment and polling...

Pension tax reform: the race is still on

By Tim Sexton The Chancellor’s surprise briefing through trusted allies that “there won’t be any changes in pension tax relief at all in the Budget” is far from the end of the story. For this Budget at least, the field has changed and the political factors that have delayed pensions...

26 February 2016

Hundreds of schemes might be overpaying on their PPF Levy

By Nadeem Ladha In 2005, when the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) was set up, the thinking was progressive but simple. The objective was to create a lifeboat fund for UK defined benefit occupational pension schemes, funded by compulsory insurance premiums, to protect the UK’s defined benefit pension scheme members. In...

18 February 2016

To delegate or not to delegate – 5 key investment questions

By Hannah Carter Each trustee board and scheme has different needs and objectives – there is no one size fits all solution to pension scheme governance and this is particularly true of investment governance. Having a clear understanding of your unique position and what is important to your scheme will...

17 February 2016

Is longevity risk eternal?

By James Ferris and Irena Di Re We all hear about life expectancy and that generally people are living longer. Take a typical 60 year old man in the UK back in the 1980s, his life expectancy was age 78. Actuaries today have estimated that a 60 year old man...

12 February 2016

Pensions tax reform – how should employers react?

By Steven Taylor All the signs are that this year’s Budget on 16th March 2016 could bring seismic changes to pensions taxation. For companies that sponsor pension schemes this could lead to significant new challenges (and opportunities). Over the past decade, previous pensions tax changes have been largely focussed at...

01 February 2016

Tortoise vs Hare - a pensions fable

By Nikesh Patel We all know the folklore race between the fleet-of-foot Hare and slow-moving Tortoise. The hare charges ahead but, confident of winning, takes a nap and wakes to find the tortoise, having moving slowly but steadily, had crossed the finish line. The proverbial upshot is "less haste, more...

11 December 2015

Pass the deficit

By Brian Peters New UK accounting rules may have a significant impact on how some companies run their business and pay dividends. This is because the rules may change the way companies allocate deficits in a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme in their accounts. When a subsidiary company is unable...

25 November 2015

Beware of the pensions generation gap

By Philip Smith Today’s commitment to the triple lock combined with a generation that have retired with generous defined benefit pensions, means that today's pensioners are better off than they have ever been, with increases in pensioner incomes outpacing those in work. Our analysis shows that pensioners are better off...

24 November 2015

More flexibility on the way for member option exercises

Over recent years many trustees and scheme sponsors have considered member options as a way of managing the risk in their pension scheme and making a full range of choices available to their scheme members. A Code of Good Practice (the ‘Code’) for such exercises was launched in the summer...

19 November 2015

Take action now to avoid an income statement charge from your pension deficit

By Brian Peters The IASB is planning to amend IFRIC 14 and the outcome might not be what companies expect. The new accounting rules will require companies to have a balance sheet liability equal to the value of contributions committed towards a deficit. The rules will only apply if the...

13 October 2015

Better planning leads to better outcomes

By Tom Neale As corporate sponsors and trustees involved with the running and management of pension schemes know, the past five years or so have been a challenge. It has been a period of increased proactivity for all those involved in pension schemes. Scheme closures have been a strong trend,...

23 September 2015

In search of a better way

By Raj Mody The Government are in the middle of the consultation on how the tax system can be amended, if at all, to encourage people to save more for their retirement. It has raised the question whether tax relief would be better placed on benefits, rather than contributions. Some...

18 September 2015

Pensions challenges increasing for financial services institutions

By Nadeem Ladha A number of my clients in the Financial Services sector have been telling me how the topic of pensions has rocketed up their Board’s agenda. Significant increases in balance sheet volatility, pension scheme deficits, capital requirements and unbudgeted cash demands have shone a spotlight on their defined...