The People’s Pension introduces ‘criticised’ annual charge

The second-largest master trust in the UK is changing its charging structure and introducing an annual fixed fee, a model that other providers operate but which has been heavily criticised by experts.

Covid-19: Will Sunak’s latest stimulus aid DB sponsors?

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Market moves: Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering measures to help the “squeezed middle” of UK corporates, while US president Donald Trump’s tweets set off a spike in oil prices.

TPR will not seek to punish trustees over tough pandemic decisions

Regulatory executive David Fairs has reassured defined benefit trustees that they will not be pursued over decisions they make in response to employers struggling in the wake of Covid-19.

Opportunity knocks, but can active managers actually capitalise?

Data crunch: Analysis suggests that under current conditions stock pickers could theoretically achieve healthy outperformance of their benchmarks. But with the consequences of getting it wrong equally elevated, can they actually select the winners, and can schemes pick the right managers?

Pension Ombudsman awards Police Scotland employee £2,000

Lawyers have cautioned employers to keep their members fully informed of any pension benefit changes, after the Pensions Ombudsman awarded a Police Scotland employee £2,000.

USS sticks with March valuation despite battered funding level

Market volatility has seen the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s asset portfolio shed more than 13 per cent of its value and its deficit pass £11bn in recent days, triggering concerns, but as yet no action, from trustees.

Comment & Analysis

Separated by a common system?

Matthew Blakstad

Nest Insight’s Matthew Blakstad says despite the fundamental differences between the pension systems in the UK and the US, the two countries could both benefit by sharing common solutions to encourage employees to save more for their retirement.

Don’t panic over 2020 valuations

Charles Ward (teaser)

Not all schemes will come out of the Covid-19 crisis in a worse shape than they entered it. Wherever trustees sit in the spectrum, their first priority should be gathering information, writes Dalriada Trustee’s Charles Ward.

A roadmap to designing a corporate bond strategy

Smith, Jonathan (teaser)

There are two ways of classifying a pension scheme’s objectives when designing its corporate bond portfolio: ‘spread capturing’ and ‘Sharpe maximising’.

Videos & Podcasts

Webb: Budget must deliver for doctors

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Podcast: Former pensions minister Steve Webb argued that “it would be astonishing” if the March 11 Budget does not bring a solution to the issues caused by the tapered annual allowance for doctors and senior clinicians. Sir Steve, now partner at Lane Clark & Peacock, and Lydia Fearn, head of defined contribution and financial well-being at Redington, discuss, among other topics, the possible changes for pensions to be introduced by the chancellor.

Regulator should take ‘softly-softly’ approach to DC consolidation

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Podcast: The Pensions Regulator should take a “softly-softly” approach to defined contribution consolidation, similar to what happened with master trusts during the authorisation process, where subtle conversations occurred and schemes decided to exit in an orderly manner, according to Adrian Boulding, director of policy at Now Pensions. He and Rosalind Connor, partner at Arc Pensions Law, discuss the response from the watchdog to its consultation of the future of trusteeship and governance, among other topics.

Govt and regulators urged to review chair statements

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Podcast: Government and regulators should rethink schemes’ chair statements, as they have become a regulatory compliance tool for the pensions industry, according to Darren Philp, director of policy and communications at Smart Pension, and Judith Fish, professional trustee at Dalriada Trustees. The experts discuss, among other subjects, the recent fine received by the Financial Conduct Authority from the Pensions Regulator due to pension failures.