Posts by David

David Davison

David Davison

Specialist consultant on pensions strategy for corporate, public sector and not for profit employers
David Davison

Whilst many graduates are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn and struggling to find graduate positions as most organisations have either cut or put a freeze on graduate recruitment, actuaries Spence & Partners are bucking the trend.

To meet the continued expansion of their business and to grow a strong talent pool for the future, the business recently recruited seven graduates to work in their offices in Belfast and Glasgow. Providing career opportunities in actuarial, pension consultancy and administration, our graduates are supported through professional studies in their chosen post graduate field and our aim is to provide interesting and worthwhile careers for all our people.

Liz Fergusson, a director of Spence & Partners commented “as a progressive actuarial and pension consultancy practice, Spence & Partners recognises the need to recruit and nurture the most talented individuals. Our mix of work provides challenging objectives; our people are encouraged to challenge the status quo, be creative thinkers and have a “can do” attitude”.

For further information please contact David Davison at Spence & Partners (www.spenceandpartners.co.uk) on 0141 331 1004.

Issued on behalf of Spence & Partners by Blueprint Media

Date: August 2009

ENDS

David Davison

Northern Ireland actuaries Spence & Partners recognise the need to nurture talent and are keen to support their local communities. This year, we have provided placements to two of the first students studying toward a BSc in Actuarial Science at Queens University Belfast. In the third year of their degree course, students undertake a placement in an actuarial environment, for a minimum period of nine months.

As a progressive actuarial and pension consultancy practice, the students are given a broad range of work, with the potential to quickly contribute and participate in helping to achieve the objectives of the business, whilst working closely with senior qualified actuaries, trainee actuaries, pension consultants and administrators.

Ian Campbell, a director at Spence & Partners commented “since the Actuarial Science degree programme was established at Queens University Belfast, we have built a strong association with the faculty, and we have a keen interest in actuarial research and education. The quality and academic calibre of the students we have met is excellent, and we very much want to be an employer of choice”.

For further information please contact David Davison at Spence & Partners (www.spenceandpartners.co.uk) on 0141 331 1004.

Issued on behalf of Spence & Partners by Blueprint Media

Date: August 2009

 

ENDS

David Davison

The Pensions Regulator’s powers have increased significantly in order to maintain the security of member benefits following the introduction of the material detriment test.
The material detriment test was introduced as a result of concerns over the reduced security provided by sponsoring companies and is being welcomed as a positive step to protect member pension benefits.
The Pensions Regulator has now increased powers to issue contribution notices should the employer make corporate decisions (actions or failures to act) that would have a “materially detrimental” effect on the probability of members receiving their benefits in full. Read more »

David Davison

The long awaited commutation regulations have finally been issued despite HMRC announcing in March that they would not come out until autumn.

Under current regulations members between 60 and 75 are able to take a lump sum rather than a very small pension if the values of all benefits they have under all registered pension schemes when totalled are below 1% of the lifetime allowance. A quarter of this lump sum is tax free with the remainder being taxed as income. Read more »

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.
Read more »

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 »

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 »

David Davison

I got a letter this week from Aviva about a pension policy I’d had for years – long before they employed Bruce Willis to do their adverts and were called plain old Norwich Union. They were very kindly checking that I was still the same person but just living at a different address. This got me thinking about just how easy it is to lose track of pension benefits and how important good record keeping in schemes actually is.

It is however generally an area that’s really undervalued with very little resource being committed to ensure that the primary purpose of a pension scheme – namely to pay the right benefits to the right member at the right time – is achieved. Hopefully the increased attention being paid by the Pensions Regulator to record keeping will encourage everyone involved to treat it a little more seriously.

David Davison

With the announcement this week that Barclays is abandoning final salary pension provision for its staff following hot on the heels of the decision taken by BP not to offer this option to new staff we really are beginning to witness the end of DB pension provision in the UK.

We’ve also recently witnessed Rentokil, WH Smith and Fujitsu all taking similar decisions and BT announcing fundamental changes to their benefit structure. Interestingly BP shareholders simply did not want to continue support for the scheme which is not at all surprising given the level of risk exposure and its transparency in the companies financials.

These issues are even starker for small employers and we’re witnessing and even quicker pace of change in that sector. If you find yourself in this position why not visit our Pensions Endgame section to see what options are available to you.

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