Briefing Note posted on May 10, 2013
The Pensions Regulator has issued a Statement aimed at trustees and employers with defined benefit pension schemes, in particular those who are undertaking actuarial valuations with effective dates between September 2012 and September 2013 (2013 valuations). The Statement sets out the Regulator’s views on acceptable approaches to 2013 valuations in the light of current economic conditions, and follows up on the key messages included in the Regulator’s first such Statement in 2012. The Statement also signposts some further communications to be issued later in the year covering certain changes to the Regulator’s statutory objectives and guidance. This BBS briefing note summarises the Statement.
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Briefing Note posted on May 09, 2013
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued the Government’s response to two consultation exercises on: • Whether to provide the Pensions Regulator with a new statutory objective to consider the long-term affordability of deficit recovery plans to sponsoring employers; and • Whether to allow sponsoring employers to smooth asset and liability values when undergoing funding valuations. The background to these consultation exercises was provided in BBS briefing note 98. This BBS briefing note summarises the Government’s response.
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Briefing Note posted on Apr 21, 2013
In January 2012, the Department for Work and Pensions issued a consultation on draft Regulations amending the current equal treatment legislation in relation to Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs). BBS briefing note 90 summarised this consultation. The DWP has now issued an interim response to its consultation, which ended in April 2012. The interim response confirms that, whilst the Government’s views on the obligation to equalise GMPs between men and women under contracted-out occupational pension schemes are unchanged, the Government intends to take stock of the comments received under the consultation and to consider whether further guidance can be provided on how equalisation might be achieved in a less complicated and expensive way than originally proposed. This BBS briefing note provides a brief overview of the interim response.
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Briefing Note posted on Apr 20, 2013
Since the introduction of auto-enrolment, the Government has been gathering information from employers, pension schemes, advisers and payroll providers about their experiences of implementing the new duties in practice. As a result, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a consultation on a number of proposed technical changes intended to improve the operation of auto-enrolment. This BBS briefing note summarises the proposed changes in the context of the current regulations.
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Briefing Note posted on Apr 19, 2013
In January 2013, the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb, presented a paper to Parliament titled “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving” setting out the background to the proposed reforms to state pension provision. The main component of the proposed reforms is the adoption of a single-tier pension of around £144 per week, in today’s earnings terms, to replace the current basic state and earnings related pensions. The paper indicated that the introduction of the single-tier pension was intended to be no earlier than April 2017. However, in his recent Budget, George Osborne announced that its implementation will be brought forward one year to April 2016. This BBS briefing note provides a brief overview of the proposed reforms.
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Briefing Note posted on Mar 11, 2013
The Pensions Regulator has recently launched an initiative to combat the increased activity witnessed, of members being encouraged to transfer their pension rights with the promise of early access to their funds. Such fraudulent arrangements are often referred to as “pension liberation schemes” or “trust busting”, and invariably result in significant loss and tax charges to the members, whilst paying a healthy commission or administration charge to the intermediary. This BBS briefing note summarises the background to pension liberation, the warning signs to look out for, and the actions trustees and scheme managers should take to protect members from this practice.
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Briefing Note posted on Mar 10, 2013
Auto-enrolment – the new rules that require every employer to ensure that their employees who meet certain age and earnings criteria are automatically entered into a suitable pension scheme (to which the employer also has to contribute), is being phased in from October 2012 to February 2018. Whilst it is the largest companies that are affected first, by the end of 2013 an estimated 6,000 employers will be required to comply with the new requirements. In January 2013, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST - the pension scheme provider established by the government to ensure that everyone has access to pension saving) released a report, which consolidated its insights taken from five years’ worth of quantitative and qualitative research into what the new pensions landscape might look like. This BBS Briefing Note summarises NEST’s report.
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Briefing Note posted on Mar 04, 2013
With effect from 6th April 2013, HMRC is implementing the real-time reporting of PAYE data, a process they have branded “Real Time Information” or RTI. All payrolls must transfer to RTI by October 2013 in time for the introduction of the Universal Credit, the new benefit for those looking for work or on low incomes. This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary of the changes that RTI will bring into force for Pension Schemes.
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Briefing Note posted on Feb 18, 2013
The Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) has, at the request of the Chancellor George Osborne, opened a public consultation on whether, in carrying out the valuation of defined benefit pension schemes, the value of assets and liabilities should be permitted to be smoothed. In addition, views are being sought on whether the Pensions Regulator (“the Regulator”) should have a statutory duty to consider the long-term affordability of deficit recovery plans to sponsoring employers. The consultation on the proposed change to the Regulator’s duties closes on 21 February 2013. Views on smoothing are being sought up to 7 March 2013. This BBS briefing note summarises the consultation and the issues raised.
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BN97 - Code of Practice 13 - Governance and Administration of Occupational Defined Contribution Trust-based Pension Schemes
Briefing Note posted on Jan 31, 2013
The Pensions Regulator has issued a draft Code of Practice, which it proposes should apply to the trustees of all occupational defined contribution (DC) pension schemes. The Code will also be of interest to employers, advisers and other parties involved with DC schemes. This BBS Briefing Note provides a summary of the Code
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