Archive for February 2012

Alan Collins

With recent market turmoil sending scheme funding levels tumbling, pensions present a potential Pandora’s Box for even the most enlightened Finance Director.

In this month’s issue of CA Magazine (pg. 56) Alan Collins, head of employer advisory services at pension actuaries Spence & Partners suggests 10 key questions that Finance Directors should be asking themselves about their defined benefit schemes and some guidance on each of these key issues.
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Brian Spence

Leading pensions actuaries and administrators Spence & Partners have completed ISO/EIC 27001, an internationally recognised standard for Information Security Management.

ISO/IEC 27001 is fast becoming the international touchstone for effective, secure information management practices that protect organisations and ensure their compliance with data protection, privacy and computer misuse regulations. The application and use of this standard primarily ensures business continuity, minimising business damage by preventing and reducing the impact of security incidents while maximising business investments and opportunities.

The security practices adopted within Spence & Partners to comply with the accreditation are essential to protect the interests of the firms’ people and its clients in ensuring the secure and safe deployment of IT systems and services.

Brian Spence, Managing Director at Spence & Partners said: “We are proud to be one of the first pension administration companies to meet ISO 27001 compliance criteria standards.

“IT security is becoming increasingly paramount – given the volume and importance of the data which firms such as ours hold on file and we felt it was essential to obtain this accreditation. We believe the assurance we can offer clients through this high standard of data security will give us a clear advantage against many of our counterparts within the UK pensions industry.”

“This underlines our commitment to setting the standards across our sector and to provide our clients with enhanced levels of service and security.  This commitment spans all levels of Spence & Partners and Dalriada, whether we act as trustees, advisers or are only considering our internal information and processes.”

To help undertake the compliance project in a very tight timescale, Spence & Partners brought in external consultants Cimaomega.

Gillian Esquivel, Director at Cimaomega said: “This project has been completed at an accelerated pace and is a credit to everyone working directly and indirectly on it. This underlines Spence & Partners’ commitment to invest for the benefit of their clients.”
(ENDS)

For further information please contact Bill Shaw on 07974 720669 or bill@billshaw.uk.com

 

Greig McGuinness

GMP, Guaranteed Minimum Pension, the great invention to irritate pension administrators and make our lives more complicated than they have to be. Now you could be forgiven for expecting that following a couple of rounds of “simplification” and the cessation of GMP accrual from 1997 that GMP would be a problem of the past, with the number of non-retired members with a GMP element to their benefits gradually dwindling year by year.

Alas, just as we thought everyone had forgotten about Angela Eagle’s announcement last January, out come the DWP with proposed legislation and methodology for the equalisation of GMP. We could debate as to whether there is a legal requirement under European Law to equalise GMP at all, with some arguments against including GMP merely being a benefit underpin or that it is a quasi state benefit and therefore exempt.

My own opinion would be that there should be no Read more »

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