Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Brunel’s Faith Ward wins environmental finance award

News on the go

On the go: Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, has been named environmental finance personality of the year by news and analysis service Environmental Finance for her work making Brunel a “sustainability leader”.

Tapping DC schemes for growth fund raises industry concern


Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly hoping to draft defined contribution schemes into propping up the government’s proposed Long-Term Assets Fund, though experts have raised concerns about its practicality.

Weekly Roundup: Size very much does matter


This week – DWP’s attempts to speed up consolidation among small schemes, fears over second pensions transfer scandal, rules over back payment of arrears ‘clarified’, and MP tables bill around GMP conversion.

Govt to reform discount rate and cost-control mechanism


The government has proposed aligning the discount rate review periods with the valuation cycles of public service pension schemes, and is taking forward reforms to the cost-cap mechanism first proposed by the government actuary.

Treasury ‘ignored advice’ in public sector pension reforms


Podcast: Ian Neale, co-founder of Aries Insight, and Claire Carey, partner at Sackers, discuss a parliamentary report identifying failings in the public sector schemes reform, industry consultation fatigue, and the new Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures reporting requirements.

High Court clarifies rules over pension back payment arrears

High court building (teaser)

The High Court has further clarified the procedure for paying arrears when a member has not claimed a back payment within the usual six-year period, confirming that scheme rules will determine whether trustees have discretion as to whether those benefits have been forfeited.

Rushing DC consolidation could hurt member outcomes


The Department for Work and Pensions wants to speed up consolidation among schemes with less than £5bn in assets. Although the initiative was broadly welcomed, experts have warned that rushing its implementation could worsen member outcomes.

Industry warns against Treasury ‘tax raid’

Rishi Sunak

Experts from across the pensions industry have warned against a rumoured “tax raid” in the autumn budget.

Fears raised of ‘a second major pensions transfer scandal’


More than 90 per cent of trustees fear their scheme members will be targeted by scammers, while more than 80 per cent are concerned that members do not understand the risks associated with transfers, or the tax implications of accessing their pensions.

MP tables bill to clarify rules around GMP conversion

News on the go

On the go: A private members’ bill has been tabled in the House of Commons that aims to amend and clarify existing rules around guaranteed minimum pension conversion.