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 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.
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