Archive for June 2009

David Davison

The CBI has produced research suggesting that private sector businesses are being put off bidding for public sector work by the additional 25% – 50% of salary cost of pension provision which leaves many unable to compete with public sector employers who typically pay around 15%. The focus of the research was unfunded pensions schemes and there was a call to provide solutions such as admitted body status available in local government schemes.
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David Davison

Since the 2008 decision in Gregson v HAE Trustees Limited, individual trustees and directors of a corporate trustee are no longer exposed to the same risk. While a member will find it difficult to sue the directors of a corporate trustee of the pension scheme, it would be much easier to pursue individual trustees. Even the best run schemes expose individual trustees to risk and trustees are unwise not to take action to reduce their risk exposure in this area especially given a number of recent legal cases – Greenup & Thompson, Ashridge Ltd and Kemp vs Sims – all of which have seen trustees, who were also company directors personally fined for their actions. Read more »

Brian Spence

We have provided actuarial advice to many employers in recent years on liability reshaping.  This is often financially motivated because by swapping a high rate of guaranteed pension increases for a higher pension now cash flows are brought forward which are easier and cheaper to fund than distant cash flows.  This can substantially reduce the cost of buying out pensions as employers reach the Pensions Endgame.  These exercises tend to have a high take-up rate because pensioners in their 60s and 70s have a preference for a higher income now “while they can enjoy it.” Read more »

Neil Copeland

What is the difference between a duck? Ask anyone that question and they will know instinctively that it’s a question to which there is no real, meaningful  answer. I usually go with “One of its legs are both the same” and find no one can really challenge me.

There is an article in Professional Pensions which says that accounting deficit figures and actuaries are mistrusted by “equity investors”, whoever they might be.

Now I’m not an actuary, and enjoy a laugh at their expense as much anyone, but, somewhat disturbingly, I found my sympathies were definitely with the actuarial profession on this one. Read more »

David Davison

News reaches me that the Pensions Trust, who provide a multi-employer pension scheme covering 100’s of small charities and not for profit organisations has decided to close the scheme for all future benefit accrual from April 2010.

Now I’ve been banging on for a number of years about the headaches this scheme has been causing small charitable bodies (frequently without them even knowing about them!!). Read more »

Sean Browes

I was interested to read the results of the latest Capita Annual Pensions Administration survey. The survey shows that 57% of schemes are on some form of fixed cost administration contract (either purely fixed fee (30%) or core fee plus per capita charge (27%)) yet this would be the preferred approach for 92% of schemes. However, cost was only ranked 5th in order of importance in choosing third party administrators (TPA), with the top 4: Read more »

Sean Browes

A right Royal pension

Congratulations to Bucks on the award of a Royal Warrant – it must be reassuring for the Queen to know she can rely on her pension administration system when she’s burning the midnight oil bashing out the Buck House Annual Benefit Statements.

I wonder what type of scheme she operates and, if DB, whether the scheme is in deficit? Mind you, I guess there wouldn’t be an issue with the strength of the employer covenant.

Brian Spence

Spent much of yesterday in connection with caseworkers from the Pension Protection Fund who are taking over the role of coordinating entry to the Financial Assistance Scheme.

There is much that is wrong with pensions and retirement provision but the PPF and FAS are fantastic developments. Some members of schemes we administer would have received no benefit at all before their inception.

The protection schemes are not perfect but they must be hailed as a significant achievement of the current government though it is unfashionable to give them credit for anything these days.

Preparing a pension scheme for the PPF or FAS is a major project and if you have a scheme that needs sorted out here is a link to our Pensions Protection Fund and Financial Assistance Scheme services.

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