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 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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