Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Pension tax change proposals branded ‘tragic’ and ‘crazy’

News on the go

On the go: Rumours that the Treasury is planning to raid pensions have been branded “tragic” and “crazy” by speakers at a Hymans Robertson webinar, who warned that any reforms harming incentives to save could undo the work put in to boost retirement standards.

PPF 7800 Index shows surplus and funding improvements

News on the go

On the go: The PPF 7800 Index for June shows improvements in the surplus and funding positions (on a section 179 basis) for the more than 5,000 schemes potentially eligible for entry to the Pension Protection Fund.

Covid-19 sees drop in sponsor support for DB schemes

News on the go

On the go: The economic damage and uncertainty wrought by Covid-19 has seen a drop in employer support for defined benefit pension schemes, suggesting they will find it harder to meet their pension obligations as the pandemic’s fallout continues.

Greener pensions are ‘most effective’ way to fight climate change

News on the go

On the go: Making a pension “green” is more effective than going vegan, stopping flying, and switching to a renewable energy provider combined, according to new research.

PASA launches GMP conversion guidance


The Pensions Administration Standards Association has published guidance on guaranteed minimum pension conversion for trustees striving to achieve GMP equality, providing examples of approaches that have been adopted or considered by “early movers”.

DWP issues ‘stronger nudge’ to pensions guidance consultation

News on the go

On the go: The Department for Work and Pensions has opened a consultation into regulations requiring trustees and scheme managers to “nudge” individuals to obtain pensions guidance.

Calls for a ‘rethink’ as dashboards call for input closes

Pensions dashboard (teaser)

The Pensions Dashboards Programme’s latest call for input closed on Friday. Industry figures, though encouraged by progress made on timescales, said problems stemming from inadequate disclosure regulations and estimated retirement income remain, leading LCP to call for an implementation “rethink”.

Weekly Roundup: A financially appealing alternative to retirement


This week – Study shows a third of Gen Xers have inadequate pension savings, poor choices under pension freedoms cost savers £2bn, new wave of interest in sustainable investing, and the FCA revamps its anti-scam campaign.

Tapping DC for Long-Term Assets Fund requires ‘rigorous’ scrutiny


Podcast: PensionBee chief executive Romi Savova and Jonathan Parker, head of DC and financial wellbeing at Redington, discuss the government’s proposed Long-Term Assets Fund, rumours of a tax raid, and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s new Responsible Investment Quality Mark.

Covid-19 pressures accelerate rate of DB scheme closures

News on the go

On the go: Analysis by the Pensions Policy Institute, sponsored by the Trades Union Congress, has shown that the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic have accelerated the rate of defined benefit scheme closures, but member outcomes are far less reliable in defined contribution schemes.