Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Industry focus shifts toward the ‘S’ in ESG


Three-quarters of Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association members intend to review their social policy in the coming year, according to its response to the government’s consultation focusing on social risks and opportunities for occupational pension schemes.

Weekly Roundup: Treasury gets destroyed by facts and logic


This week – HM Treasury slammed for McCloud errors, calls for more advice over ‘fiendishly complicated’ pension freedoms, government actuary proposes cost reforms, and fraudsters posing as Dalriada trustees.

Bespoke funding route could save charities 65% in cash contributions

News on the go

On the go: Charities could cut their defined benefit cash contributions by between 35 and 65 per cent if they opt for the bespoke option over the fast-track route in the new DB funding code, according to analysis by Hymans Robertson.

More advice needed on ‘fiendishly complicated’ pension freedoms

Financial advice

Pension freedoms have presented members with “fiendishly complicated” choices and pension providers are being put off providing more guidance because of the blurred boundary between guidance and advice, a hearing of the Work and Pensions Committee has heard.

ACA warns of inadvertent damage to pensions advice market

News on the go

On the go: The Association of Consulting Actuaries has warned HM Revenue & Customs against causing accidental damage to the pensions advice market.

Government actuary proposes cost control mechanism reform


Martin Clarke, the government actuary, has proposed changing the cost-control mechanism used in the reformed public service pension schemes in a bid to tackle the “perverse outcome” of the 2016 valuation.

Universities back alternative proposals to reform USS

Graduation day

Employers representing 95 per cent of the Universities Superannuation Scheme membership have backed measures proposed by Universities UK, including enhanced employer covenant provision, in a bid to end the impasse over the scheme’s 2020 valuation.

Timms urges action on fraudsters posing as Dalriada trustees

Reuters, Fotoware

Work and Pensions Committee chair Stephen Timms has written to the City of London Police asking why no urgent action has been taken against fraudsters masquerading as representatives of Dalriada.

Ombudsman reports failing AE employer to the regulator

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against accounting company Berics over £678 in unpaid auto-enrolment contributions, reporting the employer to the Pensions Regulator.

Treasury slammed for McCloud errors, but members will foot the bill

HM treasury logo (teaser)

The Public Accounts Committee has issued a scathing report highlighting the Treasury’s failure to predict the numerous problems stemming from 2011-15 public sector reforms, warning its mistakes will take “generations” to resolve.