Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Guidance ‘stronger nudge’ still poses more questions than answers


Regulators are unclear about how the take-up levels of pensions guidance should look like as a result of the “stronger nudge”, since parts of the proposal have yet to be tested, the Work and Pensions Committee has heard.

River and Mercantile joins green gilts issuance

News on the go

On the go: River and Mercantile has announced its participation in the government’s inaugural green gilts issuance.

Taskforce lays out measures to boost schemes’ voting powers


The Taskforce on Pension Scheme Voting Implementation has called on the Department for Work and Pensions and the Financial Conduct Authority to create templates and requirements aimed at boosting asset owners’ ability to vote, especially in pooled funds.

Strike ballot set for October in ongoing USS row

News on the go

On the go: The University and College Union has announced it will ballot staff over strike action in October following a breakdown in negotiations over the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s controversial 2020 valuation.

Insurers called to protect trustees against GMP claims


The lack of statutory protection afforded to trustees means the insurance industry will have to shield these professionals against claims related to guaranteed minimum pension equalisation in cases where benefits are secured with annuity providers, legal experts have warned, while uncertainty about trustees’ obligations remains.

Bulk annuity deals’ strong momentum to carry on into 2022

News on the go

On the go: Around £25bn worth of bulk annuity transactions is expected by the end of the year, recovering from a slow start and creating momentum expected to carry over to trades in 2022, according to Aon’s latest risk settlement market update.

Regulators propose DC-wide ‘value for money’ framework

Mykhailo Polenok/Dreamstime

The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority will be forcing defined contribution schemes to disclose more data around their investment performance, scheme oversight, and costs and charges, as they unveil a discussion paper looking at creating an “holistic framework” for assessing value for money in this sector.

Weekly Roundup: A hugely complex mess


This week – ABI urges ‘rethink’ over normal minimum pension age hike, SPP warns dashboards may only provide illustrative figures, PLSA highlights discord over climate reporting rules, and Kent Pension Fund breaches LGPS regulations.

Inflation jump poses ‘a real challenge’ for pension schemes

John Sibley/Reuters

The surge in inflation in August – the highest since records began in 1997 – could prove “a real challenge” for pension schemes, experts have warned, especially if it proves not to be a transitory phenomenon.

Morrisons schemes granted additional security in takeover bid

News on the go

On the go: An agreement has been reached between a private equity manager and the trustees of Morrisons’ defined benefit schemes to grant additional security, as the attempted takeover of the supermarket chain progresses.