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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...

17 November 2016

Liability hedging: The soul of a pension scheme?

By Andrew Drake In a world of near-zero interest rates, the question of whether to hedge liabilities has never been more relevant or controversial. To some in the pensions industry, you've simply got to get on with it. “Expected returns don’t pay liabilities, cash does”. Liability risk is the biggest...

PenTech is for life, not just for Christmas

By Raj Mody This article first appeared in Professional Pensions on 15th November 2016. http://www.professionalpensions.com/professional-pensions/opinion/2477381/pentech-is-for-life-not-just-for-christmas The early part of the 21st century will be defined by the rapid proliferation of technology in every aspect of our lives. Whether it is how we manage our personal finances, access travel services or...

31 August 2016

Markets may move, deficits may rise, but companies still have options.

By Brian Peters The Bank of England's decision to buy £70 billion of gilts and corporate debt to improve liquidity in troubled economic conditions has led to further falls in corporate bonds since 30 June 2016 and these are now below 2.5%. For pension schemes, this also means an automatic...

25 August 2016

Providing pensions flexibility to manage defined benefit pensions risk in a volatile world

By Roslyn Williams Gilt yield lows following the EU referendum result and subsequent rate cut have led to increasing Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme deficits, clearly demonstrating the risk and volatility that schemes and sponsors are currently exposed to. Given this market uncertainty, the critical question for companies and trustees...

18 August 2016

Longevity in the workplace: 80 is the new 60 and employers need to adapt to this reality

By Raj Mody For the first time in history, more than half of the children born in developed countries today will live to the age of 100. In the UK, this trend will have significant implications for the workplace where, to achieve today’s retirement incomes, people entering today’s workforce may...

27 July 2016

Pensions accounting deficits - no longer a shoulder shrug

By Brian Peters Pensions accounting has suddenly become very interesting. For many years, pensions numbers reported in financial statements were largely ignored. From conversations with analysts, evidence suggests investors focused their attention on forward looking cash requirements when pensions were material and paid little attention to pensions when they were...

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...