Week ending 20 November 2020
The High Court judgement on the second part of the Lloyds case, covering past transfers out, was handed down today. It says that trustees owed a duty to members to make a transfer payment that was correctly calculated and reflected the member’s right to equalised benefits. In some cases, trustees may have breached that duty by making an inadequate transfer payment. Trustees are not discharged from their liability by any statutory provision, scheme rules or agreement with the transferring member, nor is the duty to correct past transfers payments time barred. It appears that schemes will have to revisit transfers paid in the last thirty years to see if any top-up payments are due to these members!
The Bill has completed its House of Commons stage, with no more amendments made, and now moves back to the House of Lords. The Lords are likely to consider the four amendments which they had previously made but the Commons have now removed. The Bill still appears on track for Royal Assent by Christmas.
The Regulator’s most recent compliance and enforcement bulletin shows its increased level of activity in enforcing AE duties over the quarter ending 30 September 2020. There has been a huge increase in unpaid contribution notices, from 352 to 1,026, when compared with the previous quarter. There has also been an increase in the Regulator’s use of its information gathering powers from 10 times in the previous quarter to 30 times this quarter.
The FCA has issued a new survey to firms holding DB transfer permissions covering the period from April to September 2020. The information sought is the number of clients who were and were not advised to transfer, the average transfer value and the firm’s professional indemnity insurance cover.
The Smiths Industries Pension Scheme has completed another buy-in, this time for £146 million with Canada Life. The transaction covers the benefits of around 1,000 pensioners and is the scheme’s fourth bulk annuity deal.
In the news this week, the second Lloyds judgement says that historic transfer payments need to reflect GMP equalisation, the Pension Schemes Bill moves back to the Lords, TPR gets tough on AE compliance, the FCA surveys DB transfer advisers again and another 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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