Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Hundreds of schemes to benefit as PPF updates actuarial assumptions

News on the go

On the go: Almost 300 schemes could see their deficits transformed into surpluses after the Pension Protection Fund announced its decision to press ahead with changes to actuarial assumptions.

FirstGroup pension schemes benefit from asset sales

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On the go: The pension schemes of multinational transport company FirstGroup stand to benefit from the £3.3bn sale of its First Student and First Transit assets to private equity company EQT Infrastructure.

DWP admits DC chair’s statements fail policy objective


The Department for Work and Pensions has acknowledged that the introduction of chair’s statements has failed to meet the policy objectives set out by the department in 2014.

Aviation scheme spared material detriment in sponsor’s acquisition

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On the go: The trustee of the Signature Aviation Income and Protection Fund has been left satisfied after the pension scheme escaped any material detriment arising from its sponsor acquisition by Brown Bidco.

Sarah Smart endorsed as TPR chair despite conflict of interest concerns

Sarah Smart

The Work and Pensions Committee has given its assent to the appointment of Sarah Smart as the next chair of the Pensions Regulator, putting aside concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

ACA laments lack of guidance on TPR’s employer resources test

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On the go: The Association of Consulting Actuaries has lamented a lack of guidance accompanying a consultation into new information-gathering powers by the Pensions Regulator, arguing that the consultation is too narrow to properly assess their consequences.

Weekly Roundup: GMPlease make it stop

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This week – spiralling cost of GMP equalisation transfers, MPs quiz prospective TPR chair, more calls for clarity over regulator’s criminal powers, and a Tory group’s request for a sidecar savings mechanism.

Just 19 per cent say TPR criminal powers policy is 'adequately clear'

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A mere 19 per cent of people said the Pensions Regulator’s draft policy on the use of its new criminal powers is “adequately clear”, while 65 per cent said they feared it could prompt companies to ditch their pension arrangements, leaving the regulator with much to do to win back industry trust.

Govt should boost CDC pensions to rebalance consumer risk

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has proposed a number of measures to tackle the so-called ‘great risk transfer’, among which is a call on the government to emphasise the benefits of collective defined contribution schemes as an alternative to traditional DC pension arrangements.

Engagement drives progress to ‘net-zero’

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On the go: Engagement has been key to embedding sustainability across investment strategies, and driving progress towards a “net-zero by 2050 target”, according to a new report from Kempen Capital Management.