Tag Archives: pensions

“Show Time!” for the US Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule

It may be show time for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Fiduciary Rule (the “Rule”), but don’t expect an elaborate production.  Think frustrated, reluctant actors on a bare stage with no lights or scenery implementing the previous Administration’s regulatory approach to protecting retirees and retirement savings from conflicted investment advice. After a long and … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of ERISA exemption for church affiliated organizations

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in three cases that pension plans established by church affiliated organizations are “church plans” that are exempt from ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).  The cases are Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, U.S., 6/5/17; Saint Peter’s Healthcare Sys. v. Kaplan, U.S., No. 16-86, 6/5/17; and … Continue Reading

Pensions & GDPR – the 12 month countdown begins!

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.  Before that date, trustees of UK occupational pension plans will need to undertake some preparatory work, including: Creating records of all personal data processing activities (or confirming delegation to plan administrators and obtaining confirmation that they will do this) and ensuring administration … 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

We’ll CJEU in Court…or not!

The Upper Tribunal has rejected an application by the trustee of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme for an expedited referral of its case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”). The Upper Tribunal decided that the unprecedented circumstances arising from the triggering of Article 50 did not alter its established test, … Continue Reading

Will the new money laundering regulations inspire pension plan spring cleaning?

New regulations, coming into force in June 2017, will introduce stricter EU anti-money laundering requirements into the UK and seem likely apply to pension plans. The potential criminal penalties for breach of the regulations are likely to bring this to the forefront of people’s minds. Will the new regulations apply to pension plan trustees?  Probably! … Continue Reading

The goalposts have been moved for DC pensions savings

The money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) affects individuals who have accessed their UK pension savings flexibly – it restricts further tax-free contributions they can make to defined contribution registered pension plans. A change of tactics The original MPAA introduced in 2015 was £10,000. Just two years later the Government’s response to its MPAA consultation, issued … 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

Budget 2017 – silence is golden on UK pensions!

The pensions industry can breathe a sigh of relief after the Spring Budget passed by with very little change to concern it. The only mentions of pensions (and some of these were in the accompanying briefing papers rather than the speech itself) were: A 25% charge on transfers to overseas pension plans (QROPS) effective immediately … 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

Populism, profit-shifting and UK pensions

The demand for corporates and wealthy individuals to adopt greater tax transparency continues to build momentum – the significance of the global reaction to it makes the recent Autumn Statement seem like chicken feed. The reforms being formulated could have a dramatic impact upon tax strategies and corporate governance generally. Whilst it will no doubt … Continue Reading
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