Week ending 25 October 2019
The results of the latest ACA survey include an in-depth look at the challenges and frustrations that employers are facing in relation to GMP equalisation. 43% of employers say they are likely to opt for GMP conversion, 31% favour year-on-year calculations (so dual records) and the remainder are undecided.
The DWP has published a consultation on increases to the rates of general levy paid by occupational and personal pension schemes. Large increases will be needed if the deficit, which on a cumulative basis is currently over £16 million and estimated to grow to over £50 million by April 2020, is to be removed. The general levy funds the Pensions Regulator, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Money and Pensions Service, all of which have greatly expanded their services in recent years.
Four options for increases to the levy are under consideration, with the option preferred by the government being a 10% increase for 2020 and a wider review of the levy before April 2021. The three other options phase in substantial increases over periods of between 3 and 10 years. The consultation closes on 15 November 2019, with the first increase to take effect from April 2020.
Aviva has completed a £1.7 billion buy-in for its own staff pension scheme covering some 4,300 deferred and 1,500 current pensioner members. This is the scheme’s first buy-in, although it previously completed a £5 billion longevity swap in 2014.
In the news this week, the DWP confirms its determination to bring about DC consolidation of smaller schemes, the Regulator ends more of its Covid-19 easements and the Court of Appeal rejects the claim that increases in the state pension age of women born in the 1950s was discriminatory.
Journey plans or glide paths may have been around for a long time but they’re at the heart of the Regulator’s proposed new funding code. In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman looks at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and explains why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy for their schemes.
This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Emerging from lockdown”, which looked at how best to tackle the most common pension issues which companies are currently facing. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 June 2020.
As we keep hearing, we are living in unprecedented times. However, as we turn our attention to the future, what does the “new normal” mean for defined benefit pension schemes? In this Pensions Perspective, Leonard Bowman considers the most common pension issues that companies are facing and how best to ensure that the company approaches these on the front foot.
Covid-19 has created many challenges for DB schemes but, for those ready to transact in 2020, it may have created even more favourable market conditions for a buyout. The problem is that most schemes are not there yet. In this Briefing we look at what being “deal ready” actually means and what work it will involve.