Latest articles from Angus Peters

Active debt management key to exploiting bond opportunities

Schemes hunting for cash flow in a record-low gilt yield environment are turning to corporate bonds, emerging markets and active management of their debt portfolios, a study has revealed.

Will PLSA’s DB consultation bolster embattled industry?

From the blog: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has called for evidence to support its Defined Benefit Taskforce, as record-low gilt yields pile yet more pressure on the industry.

The taskforce, which was launched in March this year, has said it believes solutions to the challenges facing DB may lie in efficiency savings, a greater understanding of employers’ capital allocations, and addressing “binary legislative outcomes” when deciding whether a fund will enter the Pension Protection Fund.

While these are perfectly valid issues to address, naysayers might be tempted to argue that the scale of DB challenges far outreaches the scope of these criteria.

Click here to read the full blog post.

MPs press government to incentivise ESG investment

Pension funds should do more to incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations into their investment decisions, a report by the House of Commons’ International Development Committee last week suggested.

Unilever launches guidance tool, but fear of giving advice still stops many

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The Unilever Pension Fund has introduced an online initiative using example members to help savers plan their benefits, ahead of a clarification on the distinction between advice and guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Treasury and the Pensions Regulator.

Government warned against 'knee-jerk' reactions on DB funding after BHS

From the blog: The failure to rescue high street giant BHS could have widespread impact on the pensions industry, with experts warning the entry of its two DB schemes into the Pension Protection Fund will not be automatic.

 

Administrators Duff and Phelps last week announced the closure of 163 BHS stores and 11,000 job losses after several unsatisfactory buyout offers.

 

They said the working capital required to secure the company’s future proved prohibitive to a successful acquisition.

Deluge of information stifles retirement choices

An excess of information on the pension freedoms risks poor outcomes for “procrastinating” defined contribution savers, experts have warned, meaning the industry must improve member communication and engagement.

Yes or No: schemes brace for Scottish independence vote

Pension scheme managers and industry experts are focusing on tax and cross-border funding requirements as challenges that could arise out of next month’s Scottish independence vote, regardless of the outcome.

IASB proposal could hit sponsor-scheme funding strategies

A proposed change to pensions accounting guidance around surpluses could lead to trustees having to renegotiate their financing arrangements with employers and shifting towards non-cash vehicles.

PPI: Small employers may seek pay cuts to make up auto-enrolment cost

A report released last week found smaller employers may consider decreasing basic pay to implement auto-enrolment, while experts said implementing the reform will lead to a focus on benefit structure. 

One in four executives taking cash in lieu of pensions

The number of FTSE 250 executives taking taxable cash supplements instead of pensions has risen, according to a survey, as the way high-earners receive benefits has changed in light of lower lifetime and annual allowance limits.