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 Feb 15, 2013
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax but has not included an exemption for pension funds.
Experts have warned that although the UK is not a signatory, UK pension funds will be affected because the 0.1% shares and bonds tax would apply to trades with any company or product located in any of the 11 countries applying the tax.
Posted on Feb 14, 2013
The NAPF has launched a new website to help employers and HR professionals understand how to auto-enrol their staff into a workplace pension.
The site is designed to break down auto-enrolment into smaller sections that are easier for employers to deal with.
Posted on Feb 12, 2013
The Government has announced that it will consult next month on proposals to make the process of auto enrolment simpler.
The proposals include practical or technical improvements to a number of areas, including removing the duty to enrol particular groups, such as those who benefit from protections, because they have already exceeded the lifetime allowance.
Steve Webb commented "We've been listening to the experience of employers that have enrolled their workforce so far and recognise that some parts of the process could be improved. By consulting on these changes we can address this before automatic enrolment is rolled out to small and medium sized businesses."
Posted on Feb 11, 2013
Experts have warned that unregulated corporate advisers plan to charge high fees on contributions made on behalf of low earners in their first year of saving under automatic enrolment.
One insurer told advisers they could charge employees £25 per month for 18 months, while another proposed fees of 17% in the first year, and 2% after that.
Ros Altmann, Director-general of Saga, commented "It's the employers who get the advice, but employees who foot the bill through deductions from contributions."
Steve Webb has promised a review into consultancy charging, though a decision is not expected until spring.
Posted on Feb 08, 2013
According to research carried out by the True and Fair Campaign, 92% of UK adults believe companies should be legally obliged to disclose information about pension fees.
The research revealed that 58% of respondents don't know the cost of their current investment or pension products, even though 84% said that understanding this information is essential.
Posted on Feb 06, 2013
Mercer has welcomed Steve Webb's proposal for a review of the processes that have been used for implementing auto-enrolment within the largest UK employers. The intention is that "loose ends" may be reconciled ahead of staging dates for smaller employers.
However, whilst Mercer welcomes any simplification of the auto enrolment regulations, it may be a case of "too little, too late for many firms who are already implementing the auto-enrolment rules as they stand."
Posted on Feb 04, 2013
According to Xafinity's Corporate Pensions Scheme model, FRS17 and AIS19 corporate pension deficits increased by over a third in 2012, to £550bn.
Posted on Feb 04, 2013
Figures released by HMRC, and analysed by the Sunday Times, show that the number of people liable for higher (40%) or top-rate (50%) tax is expected to rise from 3.25m in 2010/11 to 4.13m this year.
Their share of the total tax bill will increase from 54.2% to 61.3%.
Overall, taxpayer numbers are expected to decline by 1.4m to 29.9m this year as a result of the coalition's policy to raise the personal allowance for basic rate tax payers.
Mike Warburton, of Grant Thornton, was quoted in the Sunday Times "The increase in personal allowances has taken about 1.4m out of tax but the number of higher and additional rate taxpayers is jumping by 900,000, so the richest are paying an increasing share of the tax burden."
Posted on Jan 31, 2013
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to investigate the varying rates of annuities and how they are advertised.
The review has been welcomed by the Pensions Industry.
Posted on Jan 30, 2013
Research by Deloitte has revealed that up to 5.5m people are unwilling to pay a fee for financial advice, but a significant proportion are open to the idea of financial advice sourced by their employer.
33% of employees would pay for an in-house financial adviser provided by their employer, and 18% would use more financial planning services through their workplace if it were offered by their employer.
However, there are obstacles to the development of work-based financial planning. 27% of employees do not want their employer to know more about their financial arrangements, and 19% do not trust their employer to provide financial advice or planning.