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GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Bulk Transfers Will Require Close Examination

The recent court ruling known as “Lloyds 3” answered lots of questions about the need to revisit past transfer payments, where those transfer payments had been calculated without taking into account the obligation to equalise benefits for the effect of unequal guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs). However, the more we look at Lloyds 3, which focused … Continue Reading

We’re Invested in What?

If you are a trustee, have you ever had one of those letters or emails questioning your investment strategy? I don’t mean questions about de-risking triggers, the security of counterparties or even strategic asset allocation queries, which are the stuff of trustee meetings. The type of enquiry I am referring to is the persistent member … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Focusing in on Data Gaps

“Big Data” is a topic that is frequently referred to in the news.  The traditional definition of Big Data is data that contains greater variety, arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity.  Whilst this definition isn’t typically of direct relevance to trustees of UK occupational pension schemes, it does have some application in the … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Proactivity Under the Lens

GMP Equalisation and Underpaid Cash Equivalent Transfer Values – Will Trustees Have to Trace and Compensate Members Proactively, or Can Trustees Wait for Claims? Shortly after the High Court decision commonly referred to as “Lloyds 3”, which considered the issue of guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation and the extent to which past transfers out should be … Continue Reading

TPR Tightens the Governance Net in its New Code of Practice

If you were under the impression that the single code of practice would be a consolidation of existing codes, then the content of this blog will come as a surprise! The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a consultation on the first phase of replacing the existing Codes of Practice with a single, online Code of … Continue Reading

The Saver is at the Heart of TPR’s 15-year Strategy

Taking a look across the generations, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has set out its blueprint for the future of pensions regulation in a 15-year strategy aimed at protecting savers in the short and long term. The strategy focuses on TPR’s commitment to evolve from a scheme-based view to one that puts the saver at the … Continue Reading

Pension Schemes Act 2021 Under the Microscope – TPR Consultation on the new Criminal Sanction Powers

Will The Pensions Regulator (TPR) take a similar approach to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when initiating criminal proceedings? Background The long-awaited Pension Schemes Act 2021 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 11 February 2021. Within the Act, new offences have been inserted into the Pensions Act 2004 (PA04) which include Section 58A (avoidance of … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Zooming in on Outstanding Top-ups

Should receiving scheme trustees chase CETV top-ups? Background It is currently generally accepted that trustees of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are obliged to equalise benefits between male and female members to correct inequalities in guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs), and that this extends to transferred-in benefits. Following the most recent Lloyds judgment, we now also … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Claims for GMP Equalisation Top-ups to Historic Transfers

Will the number of transfer top-up claims be any more predicable than the weather – can we expect a blizzard or a light flurry? Shortly after the recent High Court decision on the issue of guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation and historic transfers (the latest ruling in legal proceedings relating to a number of pension … Continue Reading

CMA Order: Three Ways to Avoid Starting 2021 With a Fine!

UK pension scheme trustees must submit their first compliance statement, along with a certificate, directly to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) by 7 January 2021. The compliance statement relates to obligations under the CMA Order issued in June 2019, including setting strategic objectives for investment consultants, which followed the conclusion of the CMA’s investigation … Continue Reading

All Change Please, all Change! The end of the Line for LIBOR

It’s the end of the line for the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the interest rate benchmark for many financial products since the 1980s. Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA), an alternative rate, will become the new benchmark of choice and pension schemes have been directed to step aboard pronto. What will the journey to SONIA … Continue Reading

Don’t Delay, Process that Pension Transfer Today!

Our heading shows the stark warning to pension scheme administrators following the recent determination by The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) in the complaint brought by Mr John Tenconi (Mr T) against the James Hay Partnership (James Hay). TPO upheld the complaint due to James Hay’s unreasonable delays and ordered that James Hay pay £43,700 (plus interest) into … Continue Reading

Now is the Climate for Change

As the Pension Schemes Bill (the Bill) continues to progress through parliament, it has been subject to many amendments, one of which would require pension schemes to take into account the government’s net zero targets on carbon emissions, as well as the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the rise of average global temperatures. As at … Continue Reading

The Geometry and Trigonometry of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act – What Is the Final Pensions Angle?

If you are going round in circles trying to figure out the final shape of the new insolvency legislation, read this blog which takes a look at the impact the final amendments made to the legislation will have in the pensions sphere. The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the Act) received Royal Assent on … Continue Reading

The Geometry and Trigonometry of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill – What’s the Next Pensions Angle?

Part Two Yesterday, we looked at the proposed new moratorium process and the implications for pension schemes. Today we consider the new restructuring plan process. Background The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the Bill) is passing through parliament at the moment. Some of the measures included in the Bill are in response to the current … Continue Reading

The Geometry and Trigonometry of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill – What’s the Pensions Angle?

Part One The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the Bill) is passing through parliament at the moment. Some of the measures included in the Bill are in response to the current pandemic and will provide temporary easements for company directors from an acute economic downturn. Other measures have been under consideration for a while, and … Continue Reading

Member Communications: Radio Ga Ga or Radio Silence?

On 29 April 2020, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published guidance on communicating to members during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. TPR is placing the burden on pension plan trustees to discourage members from making rash decisions in relation to their pension savings that could have long-term effects. It will be interesting to see how The … Continue Reading

Stop press – Furloughed employees and pension contributions – TPR fills in (some of) the gaps

No sooner had I published my blog this morning, on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the treatment of furloughed employees’ pension contributions – highlighting gaps in the HMRC guidance – the Pensions Regulator (TPR) published detailed guidance providing some much-needed clarity and reassurance for struggling employers. The overriding message is that, whilst employers … Continue Reading

Furloughed Employees and Pension Contributions

Last weekend HMRC published revisions to its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), providing further details on the extent to which the HMRC grant would cover the pay and benefits of furloughed employees. If you are not already familiar with the key features of the CJRS (How many of us had to look … Continue Reading

COVID 19: Emerging Investment Risks for Pension Schemes

Daily policy initiatives by governments across the world who are desperate to avoid the worst ravages of an economic recession are fuelling a lot of the volatility in public markets with which investors are now sadly familiar. However, many pension funds have significant private market exposures through alternative investments. Those holdings are not immune to … Continue Reading
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