Pensions news

Week ending 8 March 2019

TPR publishes 2019 annual funding statement

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has clarified its expectations for the funding of DB schemes by releasing its Annual Funding Statement. TPR executive director David Fairs said that the statement should help trustees and employers to think about the risks facing their schemes, to consider what levels of risk are acceptable and how to mitigate those risks where appropriate.
TPR has spelt out its expectations that:

  • trustees should set a long-term funding target (LTFT), with a consistent investment strategy and a journey plan of how to achieve the LTFT
  • maturity issues should assume greater significance in setting funding and investment strategies in the future, given that most schemes are now closed to new members
  • greater focus should be given to any disparity between the level of a company’s dividends and its deficit contributions
  • recovery plans are shortened from the current median of seven years.

MAPS for guidance

Introduced at the start of this year as the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB), the Government has announced that the organisation will be rebranded as the “Money and Pensions Service” from 6 April 2019. The aptly abbreviated “MAPS” sees the unification of The Pensions Advisory Service, Money Advice Service, and Pension Wise, and aims to provide a single source of free and impartial pensions and money guidance.

Latest mortality projections model is released

CMI 2018 adds data on deaths from across the UK population up to the end of 2018 and places more weight on the lower mortality improvements in recent years. Both changes will reduce projected life expectancies and therefore scheme liabilities.

National Express goes all in

The National Express UK Pension Scheme completed a buy-in with Rothesay Life in October 2018, the news of which was released in the company’s corporate news bulletin last week. The scheme, which was closed to future accrual in 2011, is now fully insured.