Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Professional trustee market expected to grow and consolidate


Data crunch: The professional trustee market is expected to grow further over the next five years as up to 90 per cent of schemes make appointments, but the number of large companies is expected to almost halve, according to new research.

USS and University of Southampton make AVC blunder

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Ombudsman has partially upheld a complaint against the University of Southampton and the Universities Superannuation Scheme trustee after a communication lapse saw a member continue to make annual voluntary contributions after her policy had ended.

Weekly Roundup: We didn't start the fire

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This week – More legal threats over the McCloud remedy, mistakes in the NHS, guidance from HMRC on GMPs, and a court rules that a class action against banks can proceed on an opt-in basis.

McCloud remedy causes three of four schemes to breach cost cap


The Government Actuary’s Department has published the cost cap valuations of four public sector schemes, confirming that the cost of implementing the McCloud remedy has led to a breach of the cost control mechanism, cancelling previously-agreed benefits increases.

GMP guidance ‘helpful’ but ‘could have gone further’ on conversion

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The government’s supplementary guidance on guaranteed minimum pensions equalisation was broadly welcomed by the industry as it could save trustees “time and money”, but some have cautioned that the section on conversion will make little difference without legislation.

Overpayment woes at Teachers’ Pension Scheme continue


The Pensions Ombudsman has partially upheld two more complaints about overpayments to members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the latest in a series of cases where the scheme and its administrators, Teachers’ Pensions, have faced accusations of maladministration.

HMRC to address GMP conversion tax issues ‘in the coming weeks’

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The government has promised supplementary guidance on guaranteed minimum pensions conversion “in the coming weeks” and confirmed it is working on legislative changes, as the debate on the second reading of the pension schemes (conversion of GMPs) bill concludes in the House of Lords.

USS trustee concerned by ‘misleading’ use of financial reports

News on the go

On the go: The Universities Superannuation Scheme trustee has issued an update on scheme finances, and expressed its concern that previous use of monitoring statements by parties involved in the ongoing 2020 valuation dispute could be “misleading” members about the true state of the scheme.

Appeals made as foreign exchange class action proceeds on opt-in basis

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The Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled that a class action suit against banks for participating in a foreign exchange spot trading cartel must proceed on an opt-in basis, leading to fears that thousands of pension funds could miss their opportunity to join the suit.

Weekly Roundup: Performance (fee) issues

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This week – The DWP puts charge cap changes on hold, good news for British Steel workers, more strike threats from TfL, and the government further reduces its stake in NatWest Group