Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Threat of TPR action forces changes to merchant navy trustee board

News On the Go

On the go: A four-year bitter dispute over the running of a naval industry pension scheme has finally been brought to a close by the Pensions Regulator, after it identified governance failings that had cost the scheme £1m.

Aftershocks from 2020 could see wave of DB scheme closures

News On the Go

On the go: The events of 2020, combined with exacerbating longer-term trends, could spark a wave of benefit reviews by UK companies, which in turn could result in a large number of defined benefit schemes closing in 2021, according to a new report by Aon.

Schemes to decide on dashboard data verification levels

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Pension schemes and providers will be able to set up their own standards for individual data verification, which could lead to missing information on dashboards if pension funds opt for a risk-averse position.

Trustees advised to self-certify before Christmas

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Podcast: Jo Myerson, trustee director at Ross Trustees, and David Rae, head of strategic client solutions at Russell Investments, discuss the importance of trustees complying with the Competition and Markets Authority’s self-certification rules, as well as insolvencies, superfunds and the fallout from the reform of the retail price index.

Ombudsman rejects ex-plumber appeal to dismiss section 75 debt


The Pensions Ombudsman has rejected an ex-plumber’s appeal against paying £977,000 in Section 75 debt, as an updated trustee board membership tries to address historical issues in the Plumbing & Mechanical Services (UK) Industry Pension Scheme.

Weekly roundup: He’s taking a risk, he’s checking it twice…

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The regulator is coming to town. Welcome to Pensions Expert’s roundup of a week that has seen David Fairs promise in a blog post that open schemes will be allowed to be in the catbird seat under the new defined benefit funding code.

2021 could see ‘gold rush’ in DB transfers after 50% drop in 2020

After member interest in transferring out of defined benefit schemes dropped by 50 per cent during the first lockdown, transfer values have recovered and 2021 could even see a “gold rush” in activity.

Mad December dash to include GMP top-ups in 2020 accounts

News On the Go

On the go: Around one in six companies face the unwelcome prospect of having to include the cost of guaranteed minimum pensions adjustments in their 2020 annual accounts, according to analysis by LCP.

RPI reform drives up inflation hedging cost

Demand for inflation hedging is now returning after it was suppressed during the government’s consultation on the retail price index. However, the limited supply of index-linked bonds is itself having an inflationary effect, according to Insight Investment.

Alternative strategies could wipe out UK’s £190bn DB deficit

News On the Go

On the go: Alternative approaches to scheme funding and investments could eliminate the UK’s current £190bn defined benefit pension deficit, according to new analysis by PwC.