Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Fairs: TPR’s criminal powers policy will evolve with experience

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Podcast: The Pensions Regulator’s policy around the use of its controversial new powers “will evolve” in response to evidence, court cases and industry experience, its director of regulatory policy, analysis and advice, David Fairs, has revealed.

USS rejects attempt to reopen controversial valuation

University graduates (teaser)

The Universities Superannuation Scheme has rejected a request by Universities UK, the advocacy group representing 340 higher education employers, to revisit the controversial assumptions behind its most recent valuation.

Guidance brings ‘welcome clarity’ for trustees over financial advice

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On the go: New guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator has clarified what constitutes unregulated financial advice, allowing schemes to offer cash equivalent transfer value quotations and annuity estimates, but banning drawdown illustrations.

Industry facing trustee exodus due to TPR’s new powers


Concerns about the reach and remit of the new powers afforded to the Pensions Regulator have not been addressed by its guidance or draft policy, and are even forcing some trustees to quit, Aon has said.

MPs call on government to mandate anti-scam intelligence sharing

Cyber crime

MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee have called on the government to beef up anti-scam intelligence sharing via legislation, amid warnings tech giants are profiting from pension scam adverts.

Weekly Roundup: The Swanson Code


This week – TPR’s new code of practice, the impact of the tax ‘super-deduction’, the state of the risk transfer market, and DB schemes’ £41bn deficit jump.

DWP consults on removing charge cap DC investment barrier

News On the Go

On the go: The Department for Work and Pensions on Friday opened a consultation into whether the charge cap acts as a barrier to defined contribution scheme investments in a range of alternatives, such as venture capital, illiquids and growth assets.

Pensions dashboards’ 2023 target ‘under threat’

Pensions dashboard (teaser)

The target date of 2023 for the introduction of the pensions dashboards is under threat from a lack of clarity in several key areas, the Society of Pension Professionals has warned.

Half of all DB liabilities paid out or insured by 2030


Fully half of all UK defined benefit liabilities will either have been paid out to members or insured by the end of the decade, according to analysis by Mercer, as buy-in and buyout values topped £30bn in 2020.

Uber decision poses challenges for master trust sector

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Podcast: For master trusts, onboarding gig economy workers who could be entitled to a pension following the Supreme Court’s Uber verdict is not as simple as it may sound. Hymans Robertson’s Patrick Bloomfield and Victoria Panormo unpack the problem.