Archives: UK Pensions

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TPR set to get new powers

The DWP is consulting on new powers for The Pensions Regulator (TPR). The consultation covers: Notifiable events framework Declaration of intent (new) Voluntary clearance Engagement with other regulators Fines Contribution notices and financial support directions Of particular note are the new civil and criminal sanctions. The DWP is proposing that TPR should be able to … Continue Reading

Back to Basics

“You need to get the basics right, including giving us up-to-date information about the scheme, and we will take action if you fail.”  The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) move towards being a “clearer, quicker and tougher regulator” is apparent from this statement, taken from its most recently published compliance and enforcement bulletin. TPR has recently fined … Continue Reading

A lot of crossing out

The writing may not always be on the wall in terms of validating scheme amendments where historic documentation is scarce and in terms of recovering overpayments to pensions. An interesting case involving the BIC UK Pension Scheme (yes, “BIC” as in the pen that you may be holding) highlights a new way forward for trustees … Continue Reading

Does “cybersecurity” leave you cold?

If I ever claimed to be an expert on IT systems and processes, those who work in our firm’s IT department would struggle to contain their amusement. Along with many other forty-somethings, I am a proficient user of IT at work and at home – until something goes wrong. Then I find it frustrating because … Continue Reading

Happy New Tax Year!

To celebrate the new tax year, we provide a round-up of some of the pensions measures that come into force on 6 April 2018. Bulk transfer without consent of DC benefits At last, trustees and employers can close an occupational money purchase (DC) plan without the pension plan actuary having to decide how the certification requirement … Continue Reading

The clock is ticking

It’s that time of year again: the weather is wintry, despite it being nearly Spring; the New Year TV dramas have finished with nothing to replace them; and we are into the final few days of implementing Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy saving measures. Are you on track to meet the PPF’s deadlines? Trustees that have … Continue Reading

To infinity and beyond – anti-money laundering hits new heights

Whilst trustees of occupational pension plans are still grappling with the implications of the EU’s fourth money laundering directive, they will be horrified to hear that the fifth money laundering directive is already on its way! The fourth money laundering directive was implemented in the UK on 26 June last year and was the first one … Continue Reading

But sir, my dog ate the scheme accounts!

Four trustees of an occupational defined benefit pension scheme have been fined £500 each by the Pensions Regulator (TPR) for their failure to obtain audited scheme accounts on time without reasonable excuse. This is the first fine of this type, and follows TPR’s announcement in 2017 that it was going to be “clearer, quicker and … Continue Reading

What does US tax reform mean for non-US institutional investors – and UK pension funds in particular?

Colleagues have previously blogged about US tax reform and the impact on US retirement plan provisions. We highlight in this blog the key takeaway points from the US tax reform that will impact upon non-US institutional investors.  In particular, it is worth noting that pension funds investing through partnership structures and/or real estate may be … Continue Reading

Watch out Rumpelstiltskin…

You never know who is listening! Back in April last year we told the tale of the “granny turned wolf” as the Pensions Regulator (TPR) began to bare its teeth and prosecute those who had failed to comply with notices issued under s72 Pensions Act 2004 requiring information/documentation to be provided to it to assist in … 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

Trustees – you are not exempt from the money laundering regulations. Do you know what actions you need to take?

A lot has happened since 26 June 2017. We’ve had Wimbledon, summer holidays, a total solar eclipse, Leeds and Reading Festivals, the summer transfer window closed (football, not pensions), the start of the autumn term at school, the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, Proms in the Park and we are now nearly into half term.  … Continue Reading

Pensions myth-busting – overseas transfers

Transferring UK pension benefits overseas was already difficult enough, but the new rules announced in the 2017 Budget have added a further layer of complexity. An Overseas Transfer Charge (OTC) applies to overseas transfers that are requested after 9 March 2017 and is generally payable unless the member can show that certain exemptions apply. The … Continue Reading

“Another fine mess” – higher monetary penalties for professional trustees

Are you considered to be a “professional trustee”? Well the answer to that question has just become a whole lot more important! The Pensions Regulator has recently published its “Professional trustee description policy”, which aims to provide clarity over who the Regulator would and would not consider to be a professional trustee. The Regulator’s definition … Continue Reading

How2 Do Pensions

To mark Pensions Awareness Day 2017, Squire Patton Boggs launches a series of free “How2 Do Pensions” guides! Each issue will provide a valuable speed brief on a key aspect of UK occupational pensions. The first two instalments summarise employer automatic enrolment duties and how to move to electronic member communications. Further instalments will follow each … Continue Reading

Age ain’t nothing but a number

With a whirlwind of changes enforced in the last seven years the state pension age, which remained unchanged from the 1940s until 2010, is yet again in for a shake-up. On 18 July, David Gauke, Work and Pensions secretary announced plans to bring forward the increase in state pension age to 68 – this will … Continue Reading

Hanging on the telephone

It’s time to hang up on cold callers! The loss of pension savings can have a devastating impact on an individual’s plans for retirement but this is an unfortunate reality for those who have fallen victim to pension scammers. The UK Government’s consultation response on pension scams shows its clear intention to ban cold calling … Continue Reading

Quick reminder: large transfers need to be notified to the Pensions Regulator

Trustees: don’t risk a fine due to a simple process failure! Reports show that transfer requests are steadily increasing in number and value.  Suggestions are that this is due to the attractiveness of member choice and the introduction of new pensions flexibilities from 2015.  So, with everyone talking about the impact of transfers-out on scheme … Continue Reading
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