Week ending 7 May 2020
The Office for National Statistics has explained how it plans to collect data on prices and compile the usual inflation indices during lockdown and beyond. The problems ONS faces are that, during April, its price collectors were not able to visit the normal retail outlets to obtain prices, whilst some goods and services have simply not been available during lockdown.
April’s CPI and RPI will therefore reflect the new workarounds. These include remote collection of prices and so-called imputed pricing where it is not possible to collect prices. For those items that remain available, the imputed price will be based on the prices and movements in price of similar goods and services. For those that are simply not available, the imputed price will aim not to disturb the overall price index. Around 20% of the basket of goods and services that make up the different inflation measures is currently unavailable.
Whilst, in the very short term, these workarounds should provide more stability to inflation indices, it may well mean that they become more unstable as goods and services become available again.
ITV has reportedly agreed with the trustees of its DB scheme to defer £15 million of deficit contributions from the first half of 2020 to the second half of this year. The scheme’s trustees are quoted as being satisfied that members’ interests are protected and that the deferred contributions will be paid within the timescales of the current recovery plan.
Deloitte is reportedly consulting with its employees about reducing the current maximum 12% employer DC contribution rate down to 4.5% for 12 months, due to the current difficult business environment.
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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