Posts Tagged ‘Auto-Enrolment’

Kevin Burge

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online –

No, I have not invented a new name for yet another possible pension scheme design, although it does have a ring to it! The man in the street will probably shrug his/her shoulders and simply see the word pensions and sigh and the rest of us might be a little intrigued.

Why does the world of pensions constantly look to re-invent itself, thinking that the next idea will be the one to “simplify” itself? Perhaps the easiest way to understand why pensions is where it is would be to reflect on equalisation. Mr Barber and his quest for equal treatment began in May 1990 and still rumbles on with several unanswered questions, nearly 24 years later. Is there any other industry that is still to properly address an issue that has been know about for so long, yet still cannot agree how to implement equalised benefits?

Whilst I would be the first to agree that pensions need to be reviewed and refined in order that they can be fit for purpose for the next generation, do we really need to have the constant bickering that goes on in the pensions press at the moment. Read more »

Kevin Burge

Spence & Partners latest blog for Pension Funds Online –

In October, Auto Enrolment celebrated its first anniversary and those of you who remember your school days will know that you were given an overall grade at the end of the year (well you were at my school anyway).

Now you were judged on many things, attendance, behaviour, manners, punctuality, and effort, to name just a few. It was a good year if I crept into B– territory but that is another story; so let us turn our attention to auto enrolment and what grade it should get.

Now if you believe everything that the pensions minister Steve Webb says, then you would definitely be heading towards an A grade, but of course not many people believe anything a minister says so we can probably discount that one. Read more »

John Griffin

Now that auto-enrolment is a year old, and following publicity featuring high-profile figures like Karren Brady and Theo Paphitis, even the Man On The Moon must be aware that “something” is happening in the pensions world.  So much pensions news seems negative these days, with those in the pensions business now regarded by the general public as being as reputable as lawyers or politicians but, for a change, recent news has been more positive.

The figures appear impressive: 1.6 million more savers are in workplace pensions; less than 10% of employees have chosen to opt out (initial estimates had this at 30%).  But we shouldn’t get carried away, according to some pensions “experts” (the usual suspects, the “ It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” naysayers) and it’s true, there is still a long way to go.  Only the biggest companies have started enrolling workers into new workplace pensions since October 2012; medium-sized companies will do so from April 2014, those with fewer than 50 employees in June 2015, with all remaining eligible employees enrolled by2018. 

So what have we learned from the first year?  Read more »

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 »

David Davison

When working with charities on their pension provision I’m constantly reminded of the old joke about the man stopping and asking for directions in Ireland and being told “Well sur, if you’re trying to get there I wouldn’t be wanting to start from here!” This feeling of being a bit lost and not quite sure where to turn is an all too consistent theme.

So in terms of developing a suitable strategy for the future what should charity trustees be looking at? Read more »

Will Davison

UK pensions actuaries and administration specialists Spence & Partners today said that a greater part of the communication around Auto Enrolment should be to emphasise the need to contribute more than the minimum requirement. This will go some way to help avoid understating the true contributions required for members to achieve their desired retirement fund.

Commenting, Marian Elliott, Director at Spence said: “Auto Enrolment is starting to look like the ‘five-a-day’ fruit and vegetable campaign. The government set the nutrition figure at five-a-day as it was felt that it was too much to ask for people to engage with the real required amount, which is around nine-a-day. Whilst this campaign has inevitably helped the overall situation on healthy eating, it is now so embedded as a figure that people do not seek to find out the amount they should truly be eating for a healthy lifestyle. So too with contributions. If the industry place too much emphasis on the minimum figures as good retirement provision, then members are less likely to consider contributing further to actually reach their pension goal. Read more »

Kevin Burge

Ready for ageing?

A recent House of Lords study has produced a raft of statistics which show that the population of the UK is only heading one way and that is up.

Apparently the number of people aged over 85 will double between 2010 and 2030; the life expectancy for a man born in 2011 will be 93.8 and for a woman 96.7. Perhaps more worryingly the number of people with 3 or more long term health issues will rise by 50% between 2010 and 2018 coupled with a £54 billion projected shortfall in NHS funding by 2021. Read more »

Alan Collins

This article by Alan Collins was first published in the Herald Scotland on the 4th of January 2013.

All the fanfare surrounding the Government’s auto-enrolment pension legislation when phase one was launched last October may have understandably caused some worry and consternation amongst the UK’s SME community.

Given the multi-phased stages of the new legislation, the leaders of small to mid-sized firms – which make up the backbone of the UK economy – would be forgiven for feeling a bit out of touch when the likes of Theo Paphitis and other high profile figures proclaimed ‘I’m in’ on a series of Government TV adverts aired in advance of the launch.  In actual fact, there is still a long way to go before auto-enrolment will impact on most SMEs. Read more »

Valerie Hartley

When you wake up on Christmas morning, the last thing you would ever expect to be gift wrapped under the Christmas tree would be a pension.  Having said that, if over the coming years you didn’t fund towards a pension, then Christmases after retirement might be pretty much a non-event in terms of what lies beneath the tree not to mention the size of your turkey.

I guess the pension stigma still remains, in so much that funding for your retirement is way down the list of priorities.  Many have yet to give any consideration to a pension, not to mention the on-going bad press surrounding the word ‘pension’.  Read more »

Kevin Burge

PPF DC Style

One idea coming from the Pensions Minister’s think tank is that a “PPF” style fund is set up to protect DC schemes with the levy falling on the contributions.

It is far too early to read too much into the idea but it is part of the overall concept that without guarantees of some sort the minister is obviously still concerned that the ordinary man or woman on the street will opt out of auto enrolment due to a general mistrust of anything associated with the word pensions. Read more »

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