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

21 February 2020

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.

Briefing

Survey of company actions

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.

Arena

Pensions Arena January 2020

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.

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.

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