Week ending 29 November 2019
The Pensions Regulator has published new guidance for trustees on running a competitive tender for fiduciary management services, in line with the CMA’s requirements. The guidance explains the key issues to consider when putting together a competitive tender exercise, including the possible use of independent third-party evaluators. The legal requirement for a competitive tender, which comes into force from 10 December 2019, applies when trustees appoint a fiduciary manager for 20% or more of their scheme’s assets.
The Conservative party has published its general election manifesto, which includes the following pension-related policies:
- address the problems which the tapered annual allowance is causing doctors
- maintain the triple lock for State pensions
- reintroduce the Pension Schemes Bill
- review the net pay anomaly
- raise the threshold for National Insurance contributions to £9,500 (with the ambition of eventually raising it to £12,500).
In its latest Pension Schemes Newsletter, HMRC has asked scheme administrators to remind members to declare their annual allowance charges on their self-assessment tax returns. This declaration is required even if the member’s scheme is paying the charge. HMRC acknowledges that “scheme members are forgetting to declare” these details on their tax returns.
The National Grid UK Pension Scheme has agreed a £1.6 billion buy-in with Legal & General, covering the benefits of around 6,000 pensioner members. This is the scheme’s second buy-in of 2019, the first being a £2.8 billion bulk annuity with Rothesay Life, which was announced in November.
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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