Archive for December 2013

Mark Johnson

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online –

With pension liberation fraud, auto enrolment and the defined contribution (DC) code and guidance, data appears to have been put on the back burner – for the time being at least.

In a press release in December 2013, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said it intends to review its record-keeping guidance during 2014, but it is still unclear what this will bring.

Without good quality data the industry cannot seek to improve accuracy and efficiency in any area of work carried out, be it a retirement settlement or a triennial actuarial valuation. Data is, and always has been, the foundation that the industry is built on; if this is suspect then how can we expect it to hold up to the test of time? Read more »

Michael Lallali

The Influencers of 2020

As an experienced professional who has been in the pensions industry for, shall we say, a modest amount of time, one thing has become abundantly clear to me… If you want to play a senior role within the world of pensions you need a good network of professional connections, across various professions and you need to understand a bit about what they do.

Whenever I attend an event, my Directors always make it look so easy. I’m sure it helps that they seem to know everyone already, but I often question when and how will I develop my own network of contacts across the industry.

So when I was asked to chair the first ‘Future Influencer’ event on the 5th December, with the aim of helping me and others with the same question, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Future Influencer events are targeted at mid-level professionals, the ‘up and comers’, and provide them with a friendly and informal platform to meet and learn from various firms within the pensions industry. Read more »

Angela Burns

I recently presented at a ‘Future Influencer’ breakfast seminar hosted by Spence & Partners, on Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS102) and its effect on accounting for pension costs.

Under the current regime, listed Companies have to account for their pension liabilities under International Accounting Standard 19 (IAS19).  Unlisted Companies can choose to account for their pension costs under either Financial Reporting Standard 17 (FRS17) or IAS19.

FRS102 introduces amendments to both FRS17 and IAS19 which will have an effect on the profit disclosed in Company accounts, and the final balance sheet position.

The main changes are as follows:

  • There is no longer an exemption for Companies participating in multi-employer Schemes with non-segregated assets Read more »
Monica Cope

Trustees often outsource aspects of pension scheme management to third-party service providers, but do they fully understand the potential vulnerabilities to their schemes and members, particularly in the digital age?

According to the Information Security Breaches Survey 2013, commissioned by the Department for Business and Skills, companies are now “struggling to keep up” with security threats. Read more »

Alan Collins

“The acceleration of changes to the State Pension is not a surprise, as life expectancies continue to increase. Within retirement, life expectancy has almost doubled over the last century. While it may not be a particularly cheery message for the festive season, there is unfortunately no magic wand that can be waived when it comes to pensions. Simply put, the only way to avoid having to work longer to fund your retirement is to save more and save earlier.”

 “It is likely these changes will increase the blurring of the lines between working and retirement with more and more people continuing to work even when they are receiving pension income.”


It is that time of year where it is traditional to reflect on the last twelve months and look forward to the year ahead. It would be nice to say that is has been a relatively calm year in the world of pensions. It is, I guess, for the reader to decide whether that is true or not. Read more »

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