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We may be approaching Valentine’s Day, but the new “Declaration of Intent” to be made by employers to their pension trustees is unlikely to be romantic…. A lot can happen in a year. We’ve had two Royal weddings, a Royal baby, Facebook has been under fire for misuse of personal data, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a summit in Singapore, France won the World Cup and the DWP has been busy considering how…
A client asked me a pertinent question yesterday, along the lines of: “Do the pensions changes announced in the last Budget still stand given that they are not yet enshrined in legislation and Parliament is soon to be dissolved?” The short and unhelpful answer is: “It depends…”  But what exactly does it depend upon? By way of a reminder the main pensions changes relate to a reduction in the money purchase annual allowance, a new…
Let’s start with the small print… From April 2017 it will be possible for individuals to take regulated financial advice and to have up to £500 deducted from their defined contribution (DC) pension pot and paid over directly to a financial adviser. This is for regulated “retirement financial advice”, defined as “advice in respect of the person’s financial position, including their pension arrangements and the use of their pension funds”. The pensions advice allowance (PAA)…
The UK Government has issued its Green Paper on the future and sustainability of DB pensions, with consultation closing on 14 May 2017.  Despite its 99 pages, the main conclusion is that the system isn’t broken: “Whilst recognising that the system may not be operating optimally in all areas, our main conclusion is that there is not a significant structural problem with the regulatory and legislative framework.” And, despite the starting point of the Work…
What have Pierce Brosnan, Whoopi Goldberg, Donny Osmond, Kiefer Sutherland, Sarah Palin, Jim Carrey, Charlie Sheen and Priscilla Presley all got in common?  They all became grandparents before the age of 50.  They are not alone.  Many new parents have parents who are still of working age.  And as the goalposts for the state pension age keep moving it’s likely that there will be more and more grandparents in employment. Valentine’s Day is already upon…
Over the past few months, we have commented on the steel industry crisis and some of the employment law issues arising from it in the context of insolvency. The article written by our Pensions team here discusses the Government’s proposals to assist the British Steel Pension Scheme and its struggling principal employer Tata Steel, one of its primary aims being to avoid entry into the PPF by reducing increases to members’ benefits to the statutory minimum…
Are you one of the 2,500 private sector employers operating a contracted-out pension plan? Or are you a trustee or an adviser to one of those pension plans? There is work to do if the sponsoring employer wishes to mitigate the effects of the increase to its National Insurance contributions from April 2016 when the State Second Pension is abolished. A new statutory power, which came into force on 6 April 2015, allows employers to…
The “Better Together” campaigners will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning as the referendum on Scottish independence has returned a “No” vote. The impact of a “Yes” victory on pensions would have been profound and far-reaching. Concerns were raised during the independence campaign around the lack of clarity on pensions issues. These included the considerable but unknown costs for both public and private sector pension plans, the plans for future state and public…
The Pension Protection Fund should be given an ‘excellent’ mark in terms of its management of public expectations. In this economic climate (or in any other economic climate for that matter!) not many organisations could increase bills by 10% without provoking a huge public outcry. The PPF has been stating the inevitability of the increase in the 2014/15 levy estimate for a considerable time – therefore its final announcement of the increase to £695 million…