Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Firefighters threaten legal action over McCloud costs

Reuters/Chris Fletcher/MOD

The government is braced for more McCloud drama after the Fire Brigades Union published a letter threatening legal action to stop the cost of the remedy falling on members.

USS directors sued over climate inaction and breaches of duty

High Court

Two university lecturers, backed by a number of branches of the University and College Union, have filed a wide-ranging legal action against the directors of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, accusing them of multiple failings with respect to the controversial 2020 valuation, and of inaction around climate change commitments.

Weekly Roundup: Post-Budget depression

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This week – the latest on all pensions-related measures from the Budget, the FCA pushes ahead with its Long-Term Asset Fund regime, government accused of misleading parliament over the cost of public sector pensions, and strikes set to continue at University of Dundee over DB scheme closure.

Budget: Govt not expecting tax relief take-up and millions for McCloud


Pensions Expert’s roundup of the key figures from the Autumn Budget: the government assumes most people will not claim their net pay tax relief top-up, £10m has been set aside to help administer increasingly complex McCloud tax arrangements, and the Goodwin remedy could end up costing £3bn. However, savings have been made from the double lock and state pension overpayment revisions.

ESG factors more important to investors than financial metrics

ESG spotlight

ESG spotlight: A roundup of the latest news on environmental, social and governance initiatives, including a survey showing institutional investors believe ESG is more important than financial metrics when it comes to evaluating a company’s long-term attractiveness, and more signatories to the Make My Money Matter charter.

DB master trust self-certification regime launched

News on the go

On the go: A self-certification regime for defined benefit master trusts was launched on Wednesday that will provide “useful information” for trustees considering a move to such schemes.

Budget 2021: Sunak announces further changes to DC charge cap

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Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that the government will consult “within the next month” on further changes to the charge cap intended to encourage more investment in illiquid assets by defined contribution schemes. But experts have said this is “missing the point”.

Big funds invest £128bn in fossil fuels, LCP urges net-zero action

ESG spotlight

ESG spotlight: A roundup of the latest news on environmental, social and governance initiatives, including research by Friends of the Earth that found the UK’s largest pension funds have no “credible plan” to divest the £128bn currently held in fossil fuels, and a call from LCP for defined contribution schemes to take meaningful action on net-zero ambitions.

Strikes to continue at Dundee Uni due to DB scheme closure


Strike action at the University of Dundee is set to continue in October over proposals to move workers from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan that unions say will leave members 40 per cent worse off in retirement.

Actuaries demand ‘comprehensive guidance’ on TPR’s notifiable events

News on the go

On the go: The Association of Consulting Actuaries has called for “comprehensive guidance” to be published before the Pensions Regulator’s new notifiable events regime comes into force, citing the “significant penalties” that apply for non-compliance.