The Global Pensions Wrap: July 20 edition

Bloomberg

The pick of pensions headlines around the FT this week include the Securities and Exchange Commission putting up a hurdle to global responsible investment efforts and Emmanuel Macron's bold attempt to make French workers retire later.

Confined benefits: the pension schemes propping up private prisons

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Investment in private security companies has always carried ethical considerations, as highlighted by the wave of anti-Trump divestment in the US. Closer to home, governance risks and the threat of renationalisation have funds rethinking the risk associated with their allocations.

TPR shows off tougher approach alongside single-source code of practice

The Pensions Regulator's use of its frontline powers has risen by a third over the past year, it has revealed, as the watchdog cements its “clearer, quicker, tougher” ethos into its practice.

FCA's move to shrink IFA market poses trustee challenges

Bloomberg

The Financial Conduct Authority has admitted that its increase to the compensation limit for defined benefit transfers will shrink the financial advice market, strengthening the case for trustees to embed trusted advisers in their schemes.

Arcadia CVAs challenged by US property group

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Arcadia has received applications challenging two of its seven company voluntary arrangements, raising questions over the future of its pension schemes.

TPR still unhappy with pensions admin at Barnet

The Pensions Regulator has issued a draft improvement notice to the London Borough of Barnet to tackle deficiencies in the pension fund’s administration processes and controls.

Comment & Analysis

Simplifying our taxation system may have to wait

Angus Peters

Editorial: Do pension issues keep Boris Johnson awake at night? At first instance one suspects the plight of pensioners comes some distance behind gaining power and self-preservation on our presumed next prime minister’s list of priorities.

Have DGFs had their day?

Jonathan Libre (teaser)

Data crunch: Diversified growth funds continue to face several challenges, from performance problems to competition from new product types. But despite these obstacles, this is not the end of the road for DGFs, argues Broadridge's Jonathan Libre.

The mirage of independence

Jo Cumbo (teaser)

It is about time policymakers and regulators started asking awkward questions about what passes for independence for millions of pension savers, says columnist and FT pensions correspondent Josephine Cumbo.

Videos & Podcasts

What the firefighters' and judges' case means for pensions policy

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Podcast: The government was recently denied leave to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that pension changes discriminated against younger firefighters and judges. What does this mean for government policy regarding public sector pensions? And how could the issue spill over into private sector pensions? In this episode, Rosalind Connor, partner at Arc Pensions Law, discusses the far-reaching implications of this landmark case.

Putting a stop to unsuitable defined benefit transfer advice

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Podcast: The Financial Conduct Authority recently expressed concern that too much of the defined benefit transfer advice it has seen to date is still not of an acceptable standard. In this podcast, Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, and Bob Scott, senior partner at LCP, talk about the impact of increased regulatory scrutiny of transfer advice, the need for DB flexibility, and how schemes and employers can help members by appointing a dedicated independent financial adviser to their scheme. 

How will investment pathways help consumers?

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Podcast: In January, the Financial Conduct Authority launched its consultation on investment pathways and other proposed changes to its rules and guidance. The consultation closed in April and the watchdog plans to publish its final rules and guidance in July. In this podcast, Jonathan Parker, director of DC and financial well-being consulting at Redington, discusses how investment pathways will help savers make more appropriate choices, and explains why smaller providers should not be exempt from the proposed regulations.