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The IBM appeal – when is a pensions promise not a promise?

Employers can pursue pension plan change with renewed vigour following the publication of the judgment in the IBM appeal. They can now be less concerned about whether promises they have made in the past may bind them into the future, as the weight of an employee’s “reasonable expectations” argument has been significantly downgraded making it … Continue Reading

Do you employ one of the 433,000? Action required if so!

An important deadline is coming up for employers who have used the transitional period for schemes with defined benefits to delay their automatic enrolment duties.  Whilst the transitional period has not been widely used – the Pensions Regulator’s most recent monthly compliance report sets out that, as at July 2017, approximately 433,000 workers have had … Continue Reading

Good Work? Must try harder on tax

The report resulting from the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (the Taylor Review), ‘Good Work‘, was finally published on 11 July 2017. The Taylor Review’s primary focus was new ways of working, the ‘gig’ economy, worker rights and responsibilities, and employer freedoms and obligations. Although tax was not (formally at least) within its remit, … Continue Reading

French social contribution refund for unvested free shares?

In Société Orange (decision QPC 28-4-2017 n°2017-627/628), the French Constitutional Council has ruled that the refusal of the tax authorities to reimburse an employer company’s compulsory social security contributions, made in respect of the grant of conditional bonus (or free) shares where the conditions are not subsequently met (such that the shares never vest), was … Continue Reading

Pension funds to benefit from further three year mandatory clearing exemption

Last week (4 May 2017), the European Commission published a legislative proposal to amend various provisions of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (Regulation 648/2012) (EMIR). The proposal was adopted following a general report on EMIR published by the Commission in November 2016. Although the report indicated that “no fundamental change should be made to the … Continue Reading

Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Companies House reporting framework reset – trustee companies take note!

We blogged in March and June 2016 about the new requirements for UK limited companies (including trustee companies, whether limited by shares or guarantee) to identify “persons with significant control” (PSCs).  This requirement came in force on 6 April 2016.  It was coupled with a requirement to notify Companies House of any PSCs, alongside your … Continue Reading

New tax charge for overseas pension transfers

Trustees and pensions administrators should revise their transfer processes following an announcement in the UK Spring Budget designed to “tackle abuse of foreign pension schemes”. What’s the issue? In summary, where a member makes a formal request to transfer pension funds to an overseas pension plan the transfer will be an authorised payment provided that … Continue Reading

And so it begins … the 2017 shareholder spring

As we recently reported, 2017 is the year when most FTSE100 companies will be putting their new remuneration policies to a shareholders’ binding vote, against an increasingly hostile background of criticism of the size and complexity of directors’ pay packages. For the early starters in the FTSE100, there have already been casualties.  Imperial Brands withdrew … Continue Reading

Avoidable headache caused by GMP revaluation – do you have a contracting-out hangover?

With Christmas and New Year parties well and truly over, and whilst trying to recall last year’s events, hopefully you will have remembered that contracting-out on a defined benefit basis was abolished with effect on and from 6 April 2016. Since then it has been a roller-coaster nine months (not just for pensions) so you … Continue Reading

It’s the year of the rooster – what are we cock-a-doodle-doing in pensions?

After a busy 2016 in the pensions world it looks likely that 2017 will be just as eventful. The UK government will be following up on various consultations and finalising numerous pieces of legislation that are currently in draft. The planned green paper on DB pension reform should also make for some interesting reading, especially … Continue Reading

EU Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP II)

On 8 December 2016 the European Council published that it had adopted IORP II, which was approved and agreed by the European Parliament on 24 November 2016. The European Council set out in its publication that the directive is aimed at facilitating the development of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs) and better protecting pension … Continue Reading

Bringing UK “big business” into line: corporate governance reform

As trailed in our recent blog post, the green paper on the reform of corporate governance was published today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (formerly BIS).  The paper sets out 14 questions for consultation. The consultation covers three main areas: executive pay, “which has grown much faster over the last two … Continue Reading

Great Expectations: Hermes joins the fray on UK executive pay

Three publications over the last few weeks are particularly relevant for companies preparing their new remuneration policies for 2017 (including most of the FTSE100). Hermes Investment Management recently published its “Remuneration principles: clarifying expectations”.  This is its first solo effort – it previously was part of a group of large investors who jointly published their … Continue Reading

A brake on executive pay? More on employee representation on boards

Tucked away right at the end of Prime Minister’s questions yesterday, immediately before the Autumn Statement, was a very short question: “Does the Prime Minister believe that big companies should put a worker on the board?”  Given recent headlines such as “Theresa May backtracks on putting workers on company boards” (The Telegraph, 21 November) and … Continue Reading

Investment Association keeps up the pressure on UK executive pay

The Investment Association has published a revised version of its “Principles of Remuneration” guidelines, which takes into account the final report of the Executive Remuneration Working Group (a summary of which can be found in our earlier blog post).  This is backed up by an open letter to the chairs of all FTSE 350 remuneration … Continue Reading
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