Week ending 3 April 2020
TPR says that trustees should be open to employer requests to suspend deficit contributions, but they should ensure that full backing information is provided. If not, the suspension should be for a very limited period (no longer than three months). No dividends should be paid by the employer during this period and any deferred contributions should be made up within the timeframe of the current recovery plan. Arcadia Group is reported to be one of the first to take advantage of the new regulatory easements.
The Regulator suggests that trustees may want to consider suspending cash equivalent transfer value quotations and payments for up to three months, in order to review the terms and assess the impact that they are having on their scheme’s administration service.
These regulatory easements will be in place until the end of June 2020, but this will be kept under review.
The 10% increase to the general schemes levy, due to take place on 1 April 2020, has been cancelled due to Covid-19. The government will now review the structure of the levy, although a significant increase is to be expected from April 2021.
The timeline for issuing the final GMP data cuts was due by the end of March. However, as a result of Covid-19 work, HMRC has announced a delay and said that it is aiming to publish a revised timeline by the end of April.
The FCA and TPR, supported by MaPS, have published a statement telling savers to stay calm and not rush into making decisions about their pensions. There is concern that the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing investment volatility is making savers more vulnerable to scams and to making poor decisions.
It has been announced that two DB schemes of WPP completed a £250 million buy-in with PIC, although the transaction itself took place towards the end of 2019. Meanwhile Castings has secured a £72 million bulk annuity with Aviva, covering the remaining uninsured liabilities of its two DB schemes. This deal was finalised in March 2020.
Hymans Robertson announces today that it has acquired Bath Actuarial Consulting (BAC). At the same time Andrew Udale-Smith and Leonard Bowman from Bath Actuarial Consulting (BAC) will be joining the firm as new Partners.
In the news over the last week, the DWP responds to its consultation on climate risk governance and reporting for pension schemes, transfer-blocking powers could be on the horizon, MaPS delivers on pension guidance and there’s more de-risking.
This quarter’s Arena has a summary of our recent Pensions Perspective, “Endgame planning comes of age”, which looked at how long-term funding and investment plans are evolving and why companies are increasingly taking the lead in designing an endgame strategy. It also shows all the usual financial and investment analysis for the quarter ending 30 September 2020.
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.
Unit 13A | Church Farm Business Park | Corston | Bath | BA2 9AP | Telephone: +44 (0) 1225 481450
Registered Address: 37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DA | Company Registered in England & Wales Company No. 07975135