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Changes to the UK Water Special Administration Regime – Do Pension Trustees of Water Industry Schemes Need to Care?

Changes are afoot to the statutory regime governing special administrations for regulated water companies (the SAR) following the publication of a suite of new legislation. Impact of the changes on pension trustees Further details of the changes are set out in a blog post by restructuring colleagues Helena Clarke and Charlotte Moller. Helena and Charlotte note … Continue Reading

Don’t Fall Into The Surplus Trap! How Sponsors And Trustees Can Manage Issues Around Pension Scheme Surpluses

Significant market and interest rate movements over recent years have seen funding positions improve for many defined benefit pension plans across the UK, and in a lot of cases this has resulted in pension plans finding themselves with an unexpected surplus. If sponsors and trustees are not anticipating a surplus, this can lead to uncertainty … Continue Reading

Reputational Risks: Lessons From the Odey Crisis

The investigations into Odey Asset Management and its founder, Crispin Odey, which are currently capturing the headlines in the financial press, tell a familiar story of how fast a financial institution can fall from grace when disaster strikes. Institutional investors (and by extension some retail funds that had been invested in Odey’s strategies) have already … Continue Reading

Is the Clock Ticking for UK Pensions Law?

“The Brexit Freedoms Bill will enable the UK government to remove years of burdensome EU regulation in favour of a more agile, home-grown regulatory approach that benefits people and businesses across the UK”. (Government press release, 22 September 2022) “This has nothing to do with the merits of Brexit. It’s about how we make law … Continue Reading

LDI-Gate Anyone?

It can’t be long before someone starts discussing LDI-Gate (the turmoil in the gilts market following the Government’s September mini budget), looking for parties to blame. There have been rumours about potential claims against liability driven investment (“LDI”) managers and investment consultants, and pensions celebrities have been summoned to appear before parliamentary select committees to … Continue Reading

TPR’s Pledge to Combat Pension Scams Gains Increasing Popularity with Trustees

According to complaints filed with Action Fraud, more than £30 million has been lost to pension scammers since 2017. All types of pension pots are targeted, with some individual savers losing hundreds of thousands of pounds. Given the current cost of living crisis, more people might feel tempted to access their pension savings, making them … Continue Reading

ASAP x 10 – TPR Puts The Dash Into Pensions Dashboards

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is not pulling any punches in its latest messaging around pensions dashboards. The Deadline campaign, launched on 22 June 2022, follows research conducted by TPR revealing that insufficient progress has been made by schemes in preparing for pensions dashboards and moving towards the level of digitalisation of member records that will … Continue Reading

Down to the Wire!

On 28 April 2022, at 4:35 pm we issued legal advice to our client regarding the GMP conversion exercise for two schemes, along with final versions of the deed of amendment to bring into effect GMP conversion; the Conversion Date was set for 1 May 2022.  At 4:43 pm, we get an e-mail from our … Continue Reading

Getting to Net Zero: Lessons from Butler-Sloss v the Charity Commissioners & the Attorney General for Pension Schemes

Once in a while trustees get frustrated with what the law appears to tell them is their fiduciary duty. If they can afford it, trustees can resolve such ambiguities or uncertainty by getting a ruling from the courts as to how to interpret their duties. This is what two sets of charitable trustees recently did … Continue Reading

The Big Reveal: Corporate Transparency and What It Means for Pension Scheme Trustees

Background In February 2022 the UK Government unveiled its long-awaited plans to improve corporate transparency and reform the company register framework, in a move widely regarded as having been accelerated (at least in part) in response to the conflict in Ukraine. In this blog, we look at how the changes could affect UK pension scheme … Continue Reading

Data Protection Day – a Time for Reflection

Today, 28 January, is international “data protection day” (as explained on Wikipedia). Its purpose is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practice; there is no suggestion that organisations (including pension schemes) can ignore data protection the other 364 days of the year! Here in the UK, many clients will remember the rush to get … Continue Reading

New Notifiable Events may Trump Criminal Sanctions as the Biggest Potential Disruptor of Corporate Activity

The new Pension Schemes Act 2021 paved the way for potential changes to the notifiable events framework which is intended to give The Pensions Regulator (TPR) early warning of possible calls on the Pension Protection Fund. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has now issued draft regulations (Draft Regulations) and consulted on proposed changes … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation under the Microscope – Happy Third Anniversary!

Today marks the third anniversary of the landmark Lloyds legal case. This case confirmed a legal requirement to provide sex equality in pension scheme benefit structures, and remove any remaining inequality resulting from the way in which Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) have to be provided under Government regulations. Earlier this year, we issued a survey … Continue Reading

GMP Equalisation Under the Microscope – Magnifying Tricky Transfer Issues

Since the first Lloyds judgment, trustees and sponsoring employers have, understandably, been focussing on some of the more straightforward elements of GMP equalisation (if there is such a thing). However, following Lloyds 3, some tricky issues have reared their head; employers and trustees are having to take a closer look at previous transfers and in … Continue Reading

A Trustee-like Approach to Green Gilts? Guest Blogger and Trustee Corporation Director, Glyn Ryland, Shares His Views

Governments can do many things to help tackle climate change. Insulation in older houses is in the news. New houses matter too. I know of a new housing estate, under construction now, with a gas boiler in every home. No heat pumps. No solar panels. Planning laws could be tweaked to make that impossible (or … Continue Reading

It’s Not All About Climate Change!

It’s Not All About Climate Change! On 1 October 2021, new regulations came into force requiring larger pension schemes (starting with occupational schemes that have £5 billion or more of assets, plus authorised master trusts) to put in place appropriate governance, reporting and publication arrangements in connection with climate-related risks and opportunities. It is unusual … Continue Reading

The Pensions Single Code – Scatter the Clouds

Getting started on a project is often the most difficult part. If I put off doing something (personally or professionally) the task looms over me like a little black cloud, and somehow that cloud seems to get bigger every time it enters my thought process. In a cartoon-like manner, the cloud starts to follows me … Continue Reading
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