Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

UCU calls for an end to USS cuts in light of improved finances

News on the go

On the go: The University and College Union has called on employers to reverse plans for what it called “brutal cuts” to staff pensions, in light of a “drastic improvement” in Universities Superannuation Scheme finances.

Labour accuses government of undermining pensions ‘consensus’

News on the go

On the go: Labour’s shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, Jonathan Ashworth, has accused the government of breaking with pensions “consensus” and undermining workers’ protection with its planned pension reforms.

Charge cap proposals criticised as govt launches illiquids consultation

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The government has said it will “take time to consider” industry concerns around its proposals to exclude performance fees from the charge cap, and has launched a combined consultation into other ways in which to encourage defined contribution schemes to invest in illiquid assets.

Pensions industry in dire need of 'real' fee transparency

News on the go

On the go: Asset managers charging lower fees for global active equity funds often deliver better value for money, but the fees collected differ greatly from those presented in the public domain, according to a report from ClearGlass Analytics.

Regulator's notifiable events regime could be delayed

News on the go

On the go: Industry commentators are asking whether the Pensions Regulator’s new notifiable events regime might be delayed, as the government has yet to respond to last year’s consultation into the expansion of the regulator’s powers.

PASA covers crossovers, tax and death benefits in GMP guidance

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Administration and Standards Association has launched guidance tacking frequently asked questions around guaranteed minimum pension equalisation, including tax implications, death benefits, commutation, and the ‘look-back’ approach for crossover members.

Opperman calls for industry input on CDC expansion

News on the go

On the go: Pensions minister Guy Opperman has called on the industry to work with government on expanding the nascent collective defined contribution market, though experts have previously warned that draft regulations are too strict to allow for real growth in the sector.

NatWest pumps £427mn into pensions as govt reduces its stake

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NatWest Group has paid £427mn into its pension scheme as the result of an off-market purchase of ordinary shares from HM Treasury, which saw the government’s stake in the banking group drop beneath 50 per cent for the first time since the 2008 financial crash.

‘Quirk’ sees public sector pay freeze hit teachers’ pensions annual hikes


A ‘quirk’ in the way teachers’ pensions are calculated could mean some teachers stand to suffer an extra loss as a result of the public sector pay freeze, as pension calculations normally triggered by a change in earnings have not occurred.

UCU calls for staff welfare inquiry as two-thirds consider quitting

News on the go

On the go: Two-thirds of university staff could quit the higher education sector altogether over mounting dissatisfaction with pay, pensions and working conditions, the University and College Union has warned, as it calls for the Education Select Committee to set up an inquiry into staff welfare.