Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Experts warn against major pension tax changes this autumn


The government’s attempts to source billions of pounds in spending by altering pensions taxation are unlikely to be successful, although the Autumn Budget is unlikely to produce major announcements in this area, experts have said.

USS employers call for union co-operation ahead of strike ballot

UCU strike 2019 teaser

Universities UK, the group representing 340 Universities Superannuation Scheme employers, has called on trade unions to co-operate with it as it bids to reform the embattled pension scheme.

Opperman lauds ‘transformational’ climate requirements

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Pensions minister Guy Opperman has lauded the government’s “utterly transformational” approach to climate reporting requirements, while promising legislation on “simpler statements” and the “statements season” in the near future.

PPF 7800 surplus jumps £25bn in September

News on the go

On the go: The latest update of the PPF 7800 Index shows the aggregate surplus of the 5,318 defined benefit schemes measured jumped by more than £25bn to £108.8bn at the end of September, up from £83.2bn at the end of August.

Public sector schemes told to conclude 2016 valuations


The Government Actuary’s Department has agreed with HM Treasury that its amendments to the cost-control framework used in public sector schemes meet the government’s policy objectives, drawing a line under the troubled 2016 valuation process and allowing public sector schemes to complete these.

Calls for an inquiry over teachers’ 7-year contributions gap

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Councillors have called for an independent inquiry to determine how 14 members of the Teachers’ Pension Agency found they were missing seven years’ pension contributions from their employer.

‘Greenium’ concerns remain around second green gilts issuance

News on the go

On the go: The second issuance of the government’s green gilts is expected on October 18. While the first issuance was significantly oversubscribed, concerns about the “greenium” have deterred some pension schemes from investing.

BoE sets out illiquids ‘roadmap’ but doubts remain


CPD: Despite a detailed report from the Bank of England suggesting a roadmap for DC schemes to invest in illiquid investments, industry professionals and members have doubts about the practical implications of these allocations, writes Benjamin Mercer.

USS sponsor claims members will be ‘priced out’ without reform

News on the go

On the go: Universities UK, the group representing 340 Universities Superannuation Scheme employers, has warned that USS members will be priced out of the scheme if the union’s threats of strike action derail reform proposals.

Mandating net zero could ‘cut straight through’ fiduciary duties


Podcast: Stuart O’Brien, partner at Sackers, and Gareth Stears, pensions technical consultant at Aries Insight, discuss ESG and net zero, social housing, and the Pensions Regulator’s controversial criminal powers.