Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Opperman defends change to ombudsman appointment criteria

News on the go

On the go: Pensions minister Guy Opperman has defended changes to the appointment criteria for the Pensions Ombudsman, after the last recruitment attempt failed to attract a suitable candidate.

Ex-Norton owner pleads guilty to illegally investing pension funds

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The former owner of Norton Motorcycles has pleaded guilty to the charge of illegally investing pension scheme money in his failing company.

Mid-sized deals prompt strong growth in bulk annuities market

News on the go

On the go: Strong demand for bulk annuity transactions is likely to persist until the end of the decade, with annual liability deals totalling around £40bn, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service.

Interest rate rise could cut £100bn from DB liabilities

News on the go

On the go: The Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates could see up to £100bn in long-term liabilities removed from UK pension schemes, XPS Pensions has estimated.

‘No legal basis’ for interest payments on FAS compensation

News on the go

On the go: Pensions minister Guy Opperman has sought to explain discrepancies in compensation payments between the Pension Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme arising from the Hampshire ruling, detailing that there is no legal basis for paying interest on arrears in the FAS.

Weekly Roundup: Dashboards are coming… eventually


This week – Government proposes both ‘find’ and ‘view’ functionality for pensions dashboards, DWP confirms no one has applied for GMP compensation, the government sets 5 per cent target for LGPS investment in local areas, and UUK looks to modify USS proposals in light of inflation.

Employers look to modify USS proposals in light of inflation

News on the go

On the go: Universities UK, the group representing 340 employers in the Universities Superannuation Scheme, has proposed temporarily removing a cap on inflationary increases proposed as part of its solution to the scheme’s controversial 2020 valuation, following member concerns.

Alternative assets could give DC higher returns with no extra risk

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Alternative assets could present defined contribution schemes with a means to increase value for members without taking on any extra risk, according to a new report from the Pensions Policy Institute.

DWP reveals lack of applications for GMP compensation

News on the go

On the go: The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that nobody has applied for guaranteed minimum pensions compensation, despite the publication of a factsheet designed to boost member awareness of the issue.

BT targets cash flow-matched strategy by 2034 with IRM


The BT Pension Scheme is using integrated risk management to assess its appropriate level of risk and pace its transition from equities to a fully cash flow-matched strategy by 2034.