Week ending 10 January 2020
The Pension Schemes Bill has been reintroduced. It is substantially the same as when it was introduced last October and now starts its journey towards becoming law in the House of Lords.
In a podcast released this week, the FCA confirmed that it has stopped 24 of the 63 firms it assessed in 2019 from offering DB transfer advice, due to significant bad practice. In recent work the FCA has found that only about 50% of the advice given on DB transfers is suitable. It is currently individually assessing the 90 “most impactful” firms that provide such advice. It has also written to 1,600 other firms to outline specific concerns.
The Chancellor has confirmed 11 March 2020 as the date of the first Budget of the new government.
The UK Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme have been successful in their US class action against the company, First Solar. First Solar was accused of concealing a manufacturing defect in its products and reporting false information in the company’s financial statements. A pre-trial $350 million settlement has been agreed for all who bought or acquired shares in the company in the relevant period. This settlement is still subject to approval by the US District Court of Arizona.
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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