Week ending 17 January 2020
The Chancellor has announced that the consultation which was expected to start in January on the future of the RPI will be delayed until the Budget on 11 March 2020. The consultation is expected to consider the UK Statistics Authority’s proposal to transition RPI to become CPIH and to consider the timing of such a change (between 2025 and 2030, at which point the UKSA can make the change unilaterally). In a letter from the Chancellor, the consultation is confirmed as lasting for 6 weeks until 22 April, with the Government’s and UKSA’s response due before the summer Parliamentary recess.
The chief executive of TPR has confirmed that the first of two consultations on its new DB funding code (carried over from 2019 due to the timing of the General Election) will begin in March 2020. This will focus on funding principles, with a consultation on the new code itself later in 2020.
There is widespread speculation that, as a result of its review of the problems the tapered annual allowance is causing the NHS, the Treasury is proposing to raise the level of threshold income from £110,000 to £150,000. Hopefully this is not its only proposal!
In the latest HMRC Countdown Bulletin there is a reference to how the work HMRC is doing on allocating payments from pension schemes is affecting the delivery of the final GMP data cuts. It is reported that a revised timeline for delivery of the data cuts could be published next week.
TPR has published the Determination Notice detailing its decision to issue two contribution notices for a total of just over £9.5 million to Dominic Chappell in respect of the BHS pension schemes in January 2018. TPR’s Determinations Panel decided that a number of acts made by Mr Chappell were detrimental to the two pension schemes. His Upper Tribunal appeal against the two contribution notices was unsuccessful. The PPF is now responsible for obtaining the money from Mr Chappell, for the benefit of the schemes.
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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