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 pensions world continues to be dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Regulator publishing more guidance for employers, the FCA delaying the implementation of its drawdown investment pathways and two household name companies deferring (or missing) their deficit recovery contributions.
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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