Week ending 9 October 2020
The Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons and will now move onto the committee stage, where there is another opportunity for amendments to be made. Potential changes, identified by the Labour party, include widening the eligibility for automatic enrolment and better protection against pension scams.
The Pensions Minister has said the Government intends to include a further amendment to the Bill to combat pension scams. In his letter to the Work and Pensions Committee he set out how a current clause in the Bill protects savers against scams but admitted that the current drafting does not fully cover the top four ‘red flags’ that the Pension Scams Industry Group and the Committee had identified.
New figures from the Money and Pensions Service show that 160,000 face to face or telephone appointments were provided by Pension Wise in 2019/20, which is a 23% increase on the 130,000 the year before. Over 45,000 people also used the digital self-service in 2019/20.
91% of customers who had an appointment with Pension Wise said it had helped them consider their options more thoroughly. 95% of these customers also said they were very or fairly confident they would be able to avoid any pension scams, compared with 79% who did not use the service.
From 6 October, State Pension Age is now 66. The move from 66 to 67 is not due to start until April 2026, with completion planned for two years later. The increase from 67 to 68 is currently legislated to start in April 2044 and be completed two years later, although this transition may be brought forward by 7 years.
In the news over the last week, the Pension Schemes Bill is at the final hurdle, automatic enrolment limits are reviewed, there is new research into trustee decision-making, the FCA sees signs of improvement in DB transfer advice and a full buy-in is completed.
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.
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.
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