Archives: UK Pensions

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Ticket to Accreditation – Choices for Professional Pension Trustees

It turns out that accreditation systems are like buses – you wait patiently for what seems like ages, and then two come along at once. Many in the pensions industry were surprised by the Pensions Management Institute’s (PMI) announcement on 13 February that it has launched an accreditation system for professional pension trustees. This followed … Continue Reading

The Tortoise and the Hare approach to pensions change

If you were expecting The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) response to consultation on the Future of Trusteeship and Governance to create headline news, then you will have been disappointed. The response feels like more of a “holding document”, designed to let the pensions industry know that TPR has taken away a lot of action points but needs … Continue Reading

Stewardship Code – A Long Engagement

Unlike the best romantic stories, this proposal was expected, grounded in practicalities and wholly lacking in passion. Part of it was borne from the principle that pension trustees and investment managers should develop a closer working relationship. The Need for a Committed Relationship Responsible investment and investment stewardship are hot topics at the moment in the … Continue Reading

IR35 Reforms – A Taxing Time for Pension Trustees and Corporate Sponsors

The off-payroll tax rules (commonly known as IR35) are changing on 6 April 2020.  Pension trustees who have members of their board paid for their services through a personal service company (PSC) may need to start making those payments net of income tax and NICs under PAYE.  Although the rules have not been finalised (and HMRC … Continue Reading

A pithy precis of parliamentary process (for passing pensions law)

“There is broad agreement on the principles, but there are huge dangers lurking in the detail… Those dangers have to be flushed out before the bill is sent to the other place.” (Baroness Sherlock) Yesterday the pension schemes bill (the bill) had its second reading in the House of Lords. There was much comment and … Continue Reading

Should Veganism Feature on the Pensions Menu?

The recent Employment Tribunal case of Mr Jordi Casamitjana, which caused quite a stir in the media, focused on the Tribunal’s decision that ethical veganism was eligible to qualify as a “protected characteristic” under the Equalities Act 2010. In that case, Mr Casamitjana was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct by his employer, the … Continue Reading

A long time ago in a member state far, far away…

On 19 December 2019, an epic story with multiple twists and which many thought would never happen will reach its conclusion. And there will be no droids or Wookies involved. Yes, it’s the day we are expecting the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (“CJEU”) in connection with the German case … Continue Reading

2005 revisited? Civil partnerships are back in fashion

It has gone relatively unnoticed in the media, but the government has brought in legislation (effective 2 December) enabling civil partnerships to be formed by opposite-sex couples in England and Wales, with the first ceremonies being possible from 31 December 2019. Opposite-sex civil partners will be treated in much the same way as same-sex civil … Continue Reading

What do Antigua and Barbuda and pension trustees have in common? (And it’s got nothing to do with rum or pirates!)

9 December 2019 is an important date in each of their respective calendars, albeit for different reasons. 9 December is national heroes day in Antigua and Barbuda and it is also a date that should be of note for pension scheme trustees. Not only is it the eve of the coming into force of various … Continue Reading

End of Round One for TPR?

The pension schemes bill has been issued, giving The Pensions Regulator (TPR) stronger powers, but its passage through parliament is far from over. The new bill legislates for “collective money purchase benefits” and the pensions dashboard, it amends the scheme funding provisions of the Pensions Act 2004 and introduces changes to the individual transfer regime … Continue Reading

An Ode to Pensions Risk Management

Risk management is tricky, as things move along so fast, You think you have it covered, but that status doesn’t last. In terms of regulations, you may be surprised to learn Five hundred have been issued since the last decade did turn. We’re close to Twenty Twenty, it’s a good time to reflect On headlines … Continue Reading

Brisk Walks and Pensions Reports

Many people benefit from having a daily routine of some sort. Repetition takes away the stress of having to make lots of small decisions. For example, I take a brisk walk along the same route from the station to my office most days – I can judge whether I’m running early or late depending when … Continue Reading

What’s the time, Mr Wolf?

Dinner time! Or rather, it’s time for our near annual reminder of the perils of ignoring The Pensions Regulator (TPR). We know by now that it really does bite! In 2017 we wrote about the first high profile uses by TPR of its power to prosecute individuals for failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with … Continue Reading

Turkey and tinsel… and setting objectives for your investment consultants

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued its final order in relation to its investigation into the investment consultancy and fiduciary management market. The order comes into effect in two parts. Most provisions are effective from 10 December 2019, giving trustees and managers time to prepare for the changes. The monitoring and compliance provisions … Continue Reading

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – The Diversity of Trustee Boards

The Mad Hatter’s tea party would not have been as brilliantly bonkers if the characters were not so diverse. Could pension schemes be managed better if they were more diverse, or is the Pensions Regulator (TPR) just as mad for promoting the need for change? If it is your birthday, unbirthday or any other day … Continue Reading

E-S-G…. (not as) easy as 1-2-3

If you are a trustee of an occupational pension scheme, it is time to start preparing for the new ESG requirements, some of which kick-in on 1 October 2019. What is ESG? Environmental, social and governance considerations have come to the fore in recent years especially in the context of pension scheme investment. In its … Continue Reading

Helping employers with their Plumbing Scheme debt challenges

Debt illustrations are starting to land on the desks of employers who have historically participated in the Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme (“the Plumbing Scheme”). Together with Chris Hawley of Barnett Waddingham, we explore the arising issues and what challenges are open to these employers. Background The challenges facing the Plumbing Scheme … Continue Reading

To Be [Registrable] or Not To Be, That is the Question

Government consultation on transposing the fifth EU money laundering directive into UK law is under way. Do pension trustees need to worry about it?  Probably not. Most of the shocks came in 2017, when the fourth money laundering directive was adopted in the UK. At the same time that many pension trustees were implementing a … Continue Reading

Is LGPS Governance Up To Scratch?

From asset pooling and actuarial valuations to administration and data, local government pension schemes have a lot to think about this year – meaning good governance is more important than ever. In this podcast episode recorded for Pensions Expert, Kirsty Bartlett, partner in our Pensions team, and Ian Colvin, head of LGPS Benefits and Governance … Continue Reading

No Deal, No PPF?

Brexit insolvency issues for trustees of pension schemes with overseas sponsors You might remember that before 2016, in the world before the EU referendum (which did exist!), it was effectively not possible for the insolvency of an overseas sponsor of a UK pension scheme to trigger entry into the PPF unless the overseas sponsor had … Continue Reading

Strength in numbers – The Pensions Regulator presents challenges for the sole trader trustee model

Are you a professional trustee of an occupational pension scheme? If so, you will soon be expected to apply for accreditation and demonstrate that you meet a new set of standards. The Professional Trustee Standards Working Group recently published details of a proposed accreditation framework for professional trustees. This follows on from a consultation which … Continue Reading
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