Archive for September 2013

Ian Shand

Back to the Future

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online –

What a year it’s been so far; austerity measures being relaxed, an economy on the up, Team GB achieving sporting excellence, big royal news, tension in Korea, ground-breaking science and technological progress abound, and Ian Fleming’s James Bond is a massive hit…oh yes, 1953 has been quite a year. Just around the corner, Bill Hailey and the Comets’ “Rock around the Clock” is about to usher in a brave new world of teenagers, Sputnik and Elvis. The grey world of the post-war period is most definitely over and the nation is about to walk blinking into a bright, technicolour future.

The sense of national purpose and social cohesion, which gave birth to the National Health Service (NHS) and the welfare state, may seem alien to today’s more cosmopolitan, more cynical times, but 1953 probably exemplifies a time when people had a more genuine sense that, as a nation, we were ‘all in this together’. It was the time of big projects and big ideas. Some, like the NHS, have become embedded in our collective consciousness as treasured national institutions, while others have been long discarded or forgotten. Read more »

Greig McGuinness

Damn & Blast

Since its inception the PPF have based the risk based levy on the D&B rating of Scheme sponsors.  This system is not without its shortfalls and critics but, we have learned to live with it.  Consultants have come to terms with the vagaries of how D&B work and sponsors have spent a lot of time and money putting processes in place to mange their D&B rating.

Alas the PPF have announced that they will part company with D&B and from the 2015/16 levy they will instead partner with Experion.  In the meantime D&B scores will continue to be used as they have been in the past while the PPF and Experian work together to develop a bespoke scoring system. Access to the new insolvency risk scores expected early next year.

I expect that the PPFs aim will be to limit the peculiarities that score holding companies with minimum assets and trading histories highly while strong, long standing trading companies are scored lowly due to late payment of the occasional invoice. Only time will tell how much value the strategies currently in place to manage D&B ratings will have under the new system.

Neil Copeland

I could have bought a Porsche. Or a Harley. So I think my wife is fairly grateful that my mid-life crisis has so far only extended to me digging out my battered Les Paul copy, pulling on my cowboy boots and making a bit of a racket. Certainly cheaper and possibly less dangerous than the other two options. 

All the way back in February 2012 Sean Browes and I attended Pensions Rocks 2012 at the 100 Club on Oxford Street. It was great night and I broke my cardinal rule, which is: “Don’t make rash statements when you’re drunk”. Admittedly my cardinal rule is more often honoured in the breach than the observance. I don’t know if it was the screaming guitars, the pounding drums or the blazing lights. Probably it was the alcohol, but I had an epiphany that night, a blinding revelation, a truly spiritual experience and I knew what I needed to do. I turned to Sean and I said “Next year, we’re playing!” Read more »

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