Week ending 15 May 2020
The Pensions Regulator has updated its guidance for DC trustees during the Covid-19 pandemic. TPR says that DC transfers are a core financial transaction and should be a key priority for administrators and trustees. Trustees have also been told to complete due diligence checks and highlight the risk from scammers in their member communications. This guidance contrasts with that for DB trustees, where TPR had suggested that, in order to review transfer terms and/or to assess the administrative impact of transfer value quotes during the pandemic, trustees could decide to suspend transfer quotations and payments for up to three months.
HMRC has reportedly admitted that there could be problems for schemes trying to reconcile their GMP data using the final data cut HMRC is providing. This is because the final data cut uses data as at 5 April 2016. For a revalued GMP amount, HMRC recommend that their online checker service should be used instead. The discrepancies between the two sources of HMRC GMP data are likely to delay schemes’ work on finalising GMP reconciliation.
The Co-op sponsored PACE scheme has transacted its fourth bulk annuity of 2020, this time a £350 million deal with Aviva covering the liabilities of 2,300 members. The deal was completed under a previously agreed umbrella contract with Aviva.
Meanwhile, Legal & General has agreed bulk annuity deals for the US and UK pension schemes of IHS Markit, worth £78 million and £38 million respectively.
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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