Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Weekly Roundup: Strike three, you’re out!


This week – UCU brands USS strike action “inevitable”, confusion over the government’s draft CDC regulations, PLSA warns over TPR’s climate change reporting guidance, and the Ombudsman partly upholds a complaint against RPMI.

Industry ‘irritation’ with TPR’s code of practice could have been avoided


Podcast: Tim Middleton, director of policy and external affairs at the Pensions Management Institute, and Steven Taylor, partner at LCP, discuss the Pensions Regulator’s new code of practice, collective defined contribution schemes, and flexibility within the defined benefit universe.

Industry fears another missed dashboards deadline

News on the go

On the go: The pensions industry doubts whether the pensions dashboards will be delivered on time, as more than three-quarters of respondents to a Pensions Management Institute survey said they thought the project would still not be operational by 2023.

Draft CDC regulations hampered by poor definitions, industry warns


The government’s consultation into draft regulations governing collective defined contribution schemes requires more work on definitions if these pension funds are to be properly implemented, with the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association warning it could create a “back door” for unscrupulous employers.

Strike action ‘inevitable’ after employers agree USS reforms

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The University and College Union is to ballot its members over industrial action, branding strikes “inevitable” after employers agreed to press ahead with reforms of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

TPR’s ESG guidance raises industry concerns on privacy and penalties

Wind turbines, sunset

The Pensions Regulator’s draft guidance on climate change reporting and governance is not sufficiently clear on what constitutes compliance, and the watchdog needs to provide clarity on its approach to discretionary penalties, the Society of Pension Professionals has warned.

Industry bodies to 'develop the case' for DC illiquid investments

Bank of England 2021 (teaser)

Industry bodies including the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the Association of British Insurers and the Investment Association will “develop the case” for defined contribution schemes to invest in less-liquid assets, as part of a push to secure “long-term value” for its members.

Weekly Roundup: Code red


This week – TPR drops some of its new code of practice requirements, calls for government to change public sector schemes pension increases, a Morrisons bidding war, and EY's fine for Stagecoach audit failings.

EY fined £3.5m for Stagecoach pension audit failings

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EY has been fined £3.5m and given a “severe reprimand” by the Financial Reporting Council, in part for failing to meet requirements when auditing Stagecoach’s defined benefit scheme obligations.

Ombudsman facing 'significant queue of work' from Covid-19

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Ombudsman is expecting demand to increase by 10 per cent in light of Covid-19, but is already facing a “significant queue of work” caused by the pandemic, according to its 2021-24 corporate plan.