Week ending 8 November 2019
TPR has confirmed that the process under which existing DC master trusts needed to seek authorisation has finished. The number of authorised master trusts is 37, down from 90 at the time the process started, and these cover 16 million pension savers. New safeguards for master trusts were introduced on 1 October 2018.
The DWP has published a consultation on simpler annual benefit statements for DC workplace pensions. It is seeking views on how to achieve simpler statements, how the statements would work with new communication tools and how to encourage members to actually open their statements! The DWP is also proposing more standardisation in the assumptions underpinning SMPI figures, to bring them more in line with FCA illustrations.
Based on the results of its recent survey of employers, the ACA has urged the Treasury to simplify the pensions tax regime. 75% of those surveyed believe that the current regime is too complicated and needs simplifying. 69% of surveyed employers want to abolish the tapered annual allowance, even if this means that the standard annual allowance needs to be reduced. Nearly half of surveyed employers said senior and high earning employees had left their pension schemes due to the current restrictions on tax relief.
A dispute on proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme has led to University College Union members voting for strike action. The proposal is to increase the member’s contribution rate from 8.8% to 9.6% of their salary. The strikes are to take place from 26 November to 4 December across 60 universities. The strike action is also due to a separate dispute over pay and working conditions.
In the news this week, the long-awaited tax guidance on some GMP equalisation issues is published, BAE Systems agrees to contribute £1 billion to its main DB scheme and PACE completes a second buy-in.
Over the autumn of 2019, BAC conducted an extensive survey of the actions which companies are taking to manage their defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements.
2019 marked 50 years since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and this was obviously on the Queen’s mind in her Christmas message as she talked about a bumpy year but one with small steps of progress as well. In terms of pensions, it also felt like a year of small steps and occasional bumps. In this quarter’s Arena, we take a positive look back at 2019, as well as looking forward to some expected pension developments over 2020.
Despite the very different circumstances facing individual companies, bac‘s autumn 2019 survey reveals a surprisingly consistent picture of the actions which companies are finding most attractive to manage their DB and DC pension arrangements.
As DB liabilities have become legacy issues to be managed, governance has become the umbrella term for a broad range of risk management tools. In this publication, we look at the DB governance solutions we have helped our clients to implement.
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