Archive for July 2015

Chris Roberts

It is pretty much impossible to log onto my Twitter account at the moment without seeing a blog or commentary regarding master trust saturation and the need for more regulation.  Whilst immediately wishing to blame others for the deluge on my twitter feed, these articles resonate with me and are providing useful industry insight.

When reflecting on this point I looked back on a previous blog and noted some wise market commentators did foresee this:

(Obviously, I only hark back to the blogs where I was correct and not those that fall wide of the mark, but that is my artistic license!)

It is now widely reported that there are between 70 and 100 master trusts operating within the UK. Read more »

Richard Smith

‘Well you can tell your Pensions Regulator….’ comes the voice over the conference call phone. A not unfamiliar scene during a pension trustees’ meeting when discussing a new funding proposal with an overseas parent company.

There are several barriers to effective interaction between UK pension scheme trustees and overseas sponsors (or the overseas parents of UK sponsors). I explore these below, and consider what lessons can be learned from those schemes that enjoy good working relationships with their overseas parents. Read more »

Catrina Browne

Spence & Partners Catrina Browne explains what schemes need to know and do about the end of contracting out in 2016. In an article published in Pensions World magazine she urges companies to seek good, comprehensive advice on how the changes impact the scheme, put a plan of action in place as soon as possible and to make sure the members understand what is going on. Download your copy of the Pensions World article here

Alan Collins

When attending the recent Actuaries Pensions Conference in Glasgow, I heard behavioural change expert Nick Southgate suggest that maybe the name ‘pensions’ was the thing holding pensions back.

I doubt this message made it all the way to Downing Street, but today’s budget suggests George Osborne and his treasury team are having similar thoughts.  The fact that today’s “pensions” green paper was issued by HM Treasury says it all.  This is not about pensions, it is about tax.

Read more »

Christopher Shortt

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online –

In today’s world of technology, it is very rare for you to go through your daily routine without coming across an automated system – often without even realising it (that’s the beauty of automation).

But have you ever stopped to consider what it would be like if everything had to be done manually?

For example, imagine calling to book a hotel room and being told that a letter would be sent out within 10 working days to confirm your booking (of course this wouldn’t be acceptable!).

So why should a retirement request from your Defined Benefit (“DB”) pension scheme be any different? Read more »

Ian Craig

Five years is a long time in anyone’s book and, as a rule of thumb, it either calls for celebration or a period of reflection.  In the case of the Pension Regulator’s Detailed Guidance on Record Keeping, published in June 2010, I would suggest the latter.

The parameters were clear: trustees were to ensure that by December 2012, 100% of members had a full set of common data for entries post June 2010, with the standard set at 95% of members for pre June 2010 entries.  Behind that, the conditional data – data conditional on a number of factors, such as scheme design, a member’s status in the scheme and their respective individual events – was given a more ambiguous target.  The emphasis was on trustees to be aware of their conditional data but not necessarily to have taken steps in rectifying any issues. Read more »

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