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PPF could face new court case on benefits

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Podcast: Ian Neale, director at Aries Insight, and Sara Protheroe, chief customer officer at the Pension Protection Fund, discuss the court ruling which determined that the PPF cap is age discrimination, the interim regime for superfunds, and the implications of the new insolvency bill for pension schemes.

'Crystal ball-gazing' makes ethical investment tough for trustees

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Podcast: Irwin Mitchell’s pensions partner Penny Cogher and independent consultant Malcolm McLean join us to discuss innovative endgame deals, new insolvency laws, and some morally dubious LGPS investments. 

The days of ‘amateurish’ trusteeship are over

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Podcast: The challenges posed by Covid-19 will accelerate the move towards professional trusteeship, according to Mercer’s chief actuary Charles Cowling, who argues that the responsibilities in this area post-coronavirus will be too much for lay trustees to handle alone. He and Catherine McFadyen, head of public sector actuarial, benefits and governance at Hymans Robertson, discuss LGPS funding, the impact of mortality rates, and give their predictions about the post-crisis world.

McClymont: UK still has far too many master trusts

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Podcast: The UK master trust market is still lacking the scale needed to provide the best outcomes for members, argues Gregg McClymont, director of policy at The People’s Pension. He and Pat Sharman, managing director at Caceis, discuss concerns from the Pensions Regulator regarding the investment strategies pursued by some of the UK’s authorised master trusts, among other topics.

Trustees cautioned to be vigilant about relaxed rules

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Podcast: Trustees should not take advantage of easements introduced by the Pensions Regulator, which has relaxed its enforcement rules and reporting guidelines, warns John Reeve, director at Cosan Consulting. He and Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, discuss the recent changes to the pensions industry brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside other issues.

Three-month DB contribution holiday ‘might not be enough’

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Podcast: Measures introduced by the Pensions Regulator – which allow employers to freeze their defined benefit obligations for three months in response to the economic fallout from coronavirus – might need to be reviewed, warned Emma Watkins, annuities director at Scottish Widows. However, she says the plan gives “breathing space to the most stressed pension schemes”, an opinion shared by Simon Kew, covenant adviser and former manager at the regulator.

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.

Vegan case flags importance of heeding members

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Podcast: Trustees and employers should consult members on their beliefs, and incorporate the investment views of the majority in their pension default fund, according to Romi Savova, chief executive at PensionBee, and David Brooks, technical director at Broadstone. The experts discuss the impacts of a landmark ruling finding that veganism is a philosophical belief, alongside other topics, in this week’s podcast.