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The Weekly Wrap: August 24 edition

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A round-up of the pensions news stories published across the FT Group this week, from a rule that could stem the flood of defined benefit transfers, to allegations of price gouging engulfing the Australian super market.

New regulator powers will only accelerate DB disappearance

Tim Sharp

From the blog: The government has floated well-intentioned reforms intended to strengthen the arm of regulators against dodgy bosses, but the proposed changes risk undermining trustees and making further scheme closures more likely.

The consultation on strengthening the Pensions Regulator closed on Tuesday. It comes after a succession of corporate scandals, notably the collapse of BHS, and resulting cuts to pension benefits.  

One challenge is that this is not just a pensions problem. The underlying instability is caused by a corporate system that allows equity owners to act with little regard to other stakeholders, including workers and pension scheme members.

Click here to read the full blog post.

What can be done to help savers achieve a better retirement income?

Podcast: Eighty per cent of people are not sure whether they are saving the right amount for retirement, according to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association. What can be done to help savers achieve a better income in retirement? In this episode, James Walsh, the PLSA’s policy lead on engagement, EU and regulation, discusses auto-enrolment minimum contribution increases, the self-employed, and confusion about pensions.

Industry right to reject death by Isa

Angus Peters

From the blog: MPs may have migrated to warmer climes to relax during the parliamentary recess, but the civil servants at HM Treasury have evidently been working away behind the scenes.

The product of that hard work through the summer months? A rumoured policy almost no one thinks is a good idea, the care Isa. Maybe the heat got to them.

The newest addition to an ever-expanding array of savings products, the care Isa (Crisa?), which according to The Telegraph is being considered for inclusion in the government’s upcoming social care green paper, would be exempt from inheritance tax.

Click here to read the full blog post

The Weekly Wrap: August 17 edition

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A round-up of the pensions news stories published across the FT Group this week, from activists warning the UK's biggest pension funds about climate risk, to a US fund's plan to cut its investment management fees.

Combating pension scams – It’s good to talk

Ben Fisher

From the blog: In perhaps an ironic twist last month, Northumbria Police was found guilty of not doing enough to protect one of its officers from the risk of becoming the victim of a pension scam.

As a result, they were forced to reinstate the claimant’s accrued benefits in their scheme. This could turn out to be a landmark event in what is fast becoming a landmark year in the fight against pension scams. 

Many schemes will look at this case and ask themselves if they could be doing more for their members. So, what more could they do?

Select committee's new inquiry misses the point

Rory Gravatt

From the blog: It is bizarre that the Work and Pensions Committee is questioning whether people understand the cost and value for money of their pension products when the Financial Conduct Authority has only just published research that answers their question.

Its Retirement Outcomes Review states that over a third of consumers who had opted for pension freedoms had no idea where or how their money was invested.

If someone cannot understand the simplest level of information around their contract, they have little or no chance of understanding the costs involved or any concept of value for money.

Click here to read the full blog post

The Weekly Wrap: August 10 edition

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A round-up of the pensions news stories published across the FT Group this week, from waning life expectancy potentially adding up to £400m in exceptional profit for Legal & General, to the possibility of pensions for part-time workers in Japan.

DB transfers: What trustees and employers should consider

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Podcast: Since the introduction of freedom and choice in 2015, more and more savers have showed an interest in defined benefit transfers. In this episode, Ben Roe, senior partner and head of member options at Aon, and Gary Evans, board director at the Pensions and Administration Standards Association and chair of Pasa's Transfers Working Group, discuss the responsibilities of trustees and employers when it comes to DB transfers, and how they can support members in making the right decisions. 

The Weekly Wrap: August 3 edition

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A round-up of the pensions news stories published across the FT Group this week, from allegations of bribery at a New York retirement fund, to the Pensions Regulator's new approach to warning schemes about aggressive financial advisers.