Tag Archives: pensions

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Supreme Court grants writ of certiorari on Railroad Retirement Tax Act issue

  The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to resolve a split between the Seventh and Eighth Circuits related to a federal program that is a well-kept secret. Nothing as intriguing as Russian spies or hacked emails… but, I think, interesting nonetheless. Of course, you have heard about the Social Security system. And you probably know … Continue Reading

U.S. tax reform – retirement plan provisions finalized

The tax reform bill is done.  President Trump signed the bill on December 22, meeting his deadline for completion by Christmas. While there is much to be said about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), the update on the retirement plan provisions is relatively unexciting.  Recall that when the tax reform process started, … Continue Reading

VAT on pension costs – some good news!

It’s a while since we last commented on VAT on pensions but we return with some good news which HMRC have quietly slipped out in updated content to the VAT Manual. Back in 2014, following the PPG case, HMRC proposed withdrawing their practice of allowing employers to recover VAT on charges on administration costs for … Continue Reading

U.S. tax reform – 401(k) plans saved from the chopping block?

For the last few weeks, U.S. tax reform deliberations put 401(k) retirement plans on a roller coaster ride. Rumors abounded, including, for example, whether legislators would impose new contribution caps, or eliminate pre-tax contributions altogether.  Legislators often have targeted the tax-advantaged status of retirement savings plans as a revenue raiser to pay for federal programs … Continue Reading

Threat to 401(k) plans?

With U.S. tax reform on the horizon, there are some reports that lawmakers are considering limiting annual pretax contribution limits to 401(k) plans to $2,400.  The current tax code allows most workers to contribute up to $18,000 on a pretax basis to 401(k) plans.  At this time, it is uncertain whether there will be any … Continue Reading

Stuck on spin cycle – pensions and the money laundering regulations

In May we took the plunge and blogged about the forthcoming money laundering regulations (which seemed to have gone largely unnoticed until that point).  We highlighted some difficulties with the legislation and that it wasn’t entirely clear how they would apply to occupational pension plans.  Well, the final form regulations have arrived. They came into force … Continue Reading

FCA Asset Management Market Study

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final Report on its asset management market study yesterday. Key findings include: Asset management – the report finds evidence of weak price competition and recommends a number of remedial strategies, including improved transparency and an extension of the senior managers’ regime. However, the FCA has rejected the idea of … Continue Reading
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