Pension news

Week ending 22 November 2019

DB transfers

The Pensions Regulator has updated its guidance for DB to DC transfers. From 9 December 2019, the FCA will replace its Approved Persons Regime so that only senior managers and specific other roles will need to be approved. Advisers will be assessed as fit and proper by their firms, rather than being approved by the FCA. In order for trustees to check that a DB transferring member has received appropriate advice, they will need to check the FCA Register for details of the firm and then need to contact the firm to check that the adviser concerned has been certified by them. The FCA plans to release a new directory, with details of certified advisers, in 2020.

General election manifestos

Whilst the Conservatives’ manifesto is due to be published this coming weekend, a summary of Labour’s and the Liberal Democrat’s pension-related policies is as follows:

Labour

  • Stop people being auto-enrolled into “rip-off schemes” and seek to widen and expand access for more low-income and self-employed workers
  • Retain the state pension age of 66 and review retirement ages for physically arduous and stressful occupations
  • Maintain the state pension triple lock
  • Establish an independent Pensions Commission to recommend target levels for workplace pensions
  • Create a publicly run, transparent pensions dashboard, which includes costs and charges
  • Legislate for the Royal Mail collective DC scheme to proceed and allow similar schemes
  • Review the tax and pension changes implemented by the Conservative government (which seems likely to include the tapered annual allowance)
  • Compensate women born in the 1950s for their change in state pension age

Liberal Democrats

  • Review rules concerning pensions, so that those in the gig economy don’t lose out
  • Maintain the state pension triple lock
  • Compensate women born in the 1950s for their change in state pension age
  • Address continuing inequalities in pensions law for those in same-sex relationships
  • 1 pence rise on the basic, higher and additional rates of income tax to fund health and social care (thereby increasing pensions tax relief).

Recent publications

News

29 November 2019

In the news this week, the Regulator provides some timely guidance, the Conservatives publish their manifesto, HMRC seeks to encourage members to declare their annual allowance charges and another large buy-in is announced.

Arena

Pensions Arena October 2019

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.

Case study

DB Governance Case Studies

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.

Technology

A match made in heaven?

As pension trustees and sponsors get serious about good governance, a key question is whether technology can play a meaningful role or is simply an expensive addition that looks good but adds little value?

Perspective

Advisers: Endgame

In this Pensions Perspective, Andrew Udale-Smith looks first at the different types of adviser review and when and how they might best be used. Then he focuses on how to design a smooth and efficient process for a full market tender.

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