Welcome to the BBS Trustees Agenda, our headline service for pension scheme trustees, employers and fellow professionals.
Important: The articles contained within this database summarise BBS's understanding of the topics at the time entered. They are not intended to be a statement of law and should not be relied upon as such.
Posted on Apr 25, 2013
The Work and Pensions Committee has published a report which argues that the introduction of auto-enrolment makes rigorous pension scheme governance essential, and calls on the Government to rethink the case for establishing a single regulatory body for workplace pensions.
The report also highlights that deferred member and consultancy charges could cause serious detriment to consumers.
Posted on Apr 23, 2013
Independent Pensions Consultant John Ralfe has highlighted that monthly figures from the ONS do not include the £1.2trn accumulated public sector pension liabilities.
In a letter to the Financial Times, he wrote "public sector pensions - as contractual and legally binding obligations of the UK Government - are debt, just like gilts, and should be properly included in the official public finance statistics."
Posted on Apr 23, 2013
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has laid a paper before Parliament today proposing a "pot follows member" system for pension pots of less than £10,000, allowing workers to take their pensions with them from job to job.
The changes will include the abolition of short service refunds for money purchase schemes, possibly as soon as 2014.
Individuals will have the right to opt out of the automatic transfer process.
Posted on Apr 19, 2013
Sainsbury's has begun a two-month consultation with its staff on proposals to close its DB pension scheme.
The scheme, which was closed to new entrants in 2002, would cease future accrual, affecting an estimated 10% of employees.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said "the proposed changes will ensure that pension arrangements for all our [employees] are fair and sustainable for the future."
Posted on Apr 18, 2013
HMRC has published a Brief which confirms the VAT implications of regulatory changes affecting the way advisors are to be remunerated for advice on the setting up and administration of contract-based pensions.
Previously it had been common for advisors not to charge for such services, relying instead on commission paid by the provider. This practice was banned with effect from 1 January as a result of the Retail Distribution Review.
Advisers are now required to agree consultancy charges with the employer, and the recent Brief from HMRC confirms that businesses should charge VAT on such services.
Posted on Apr 18, 2013
Dairy Crest is to transfer 20 million kilograms of cheese to its pension fund to cover its £84m deficit.
The move follows that of Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker, which put £500m worth of whisky into its pension in 2010.
Posted on Apr 11, 2013
The Pensions Regulator has updated its guidance and resources to reflect the new earnings thresholds for Automatic Enrolment from 6 April as follows:
Lower qualifying earnings level - £5,668 per annum
Earnings trigger for AE - £9,440 per annum
Upper qualifying earnings level - £41,450 per annum
Posted on Apr 10, 2013
The Government has confirmed that it will proceed with legislation requiring the equalisation of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs).
However, it will not be legislating until it has looked into the possibility of converting GMPs into ordinary scheme benefits as a possible middle way.
Many schemes are likely to continue to postpone a decision on what to do until the DWP sets out its final position in due course.
Posted on Apr 08, 2013
The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) has published its second report on business readiness for automatic enrolment.
All respondents in the 2013 survey had heard of the automatic enrolment legislation, compared to only 67% in 2012.
The 2013 findings also revealed that 71% of employers believe the legislation to be complex, compared with 54% in 2012.
Posted on Apr 04, 2013
Research by Jardine Lloyd Thompson Employee Benefits (JLT EB) has found that one in ten workers is choosing to opt out of auto-enrolment.
Mark Wood from JLT EB commented that "this is an early positive sign that the system the Government put in place is functioning." However, Mr Wood noted that the schemes were at an early stage, with individual contributions often as little as 1%, and that employees deciding to remain in company schemes may not do so once contributions begin to increase in the planned stages.