Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

‘Disingenuous’ pension proposals will not fix NHS staffing crisis

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The government’s proposed pension rules tweaks around “retire and return” for some NHS Pension Scheme members, in a bid to tackle the mounting staff retention crisis, have been criticised by commentators who argue that the changes do not go far enough.

Court dismisses trustee’s Barber window arrears claim

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The High Court has ruled that members of the CMG UK Pension Scheme are not entitled to payment of arrears that fell due more than six years ago, despite the trustee’s attempts to continue paying them.

Trustees struggling to guide members on inflation benefits


Podcast: LCP partner Laura Amin and Hymans Robertson partner Patrick Bloomfield discuss benefits’ inflation calculation and advice, concerns about defined benefit funding, and the women’s state pension age investigation.

Weekly Roundup: Ignorance is bliss, actually


This week — experts question the timing of the pensions awareness season, the public sector mulls going on strike, Policy Exchange calls for a rethink of NHS scheme punitive pensions tax rules, and LCP urges caution before consolidating pension pots.

Civil service union issues strike ultimatum


The Public and Commercial Services Union has threatened the government with strikes in the civil service unless it accedes to demands for improved pay, pensions and job security.

PASA issues call to action on dashboards data matching

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Administration Standards Association has urged schemes to act now on data matching in preparation for dashboards, deciding how to digitally compare and match “find requests” from users against their records.

Firefighters’ options exercise requires ‘corrective action’

News on the go

On the go: “Corrective action” is required for certain members of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme, after a number of Fire and Rescue Authorities failed to conduct an options exercise properly.

Nationwide university strike ballots set for September 6


The University and College Union has confirmed that strike ballots over pensions, pay and conditions will be held on September 6, potentially paving the way for “unprecedented” nationwide industrial action.

UCU threatens ‘unprecedented strikes’ as USS reaches surplus

Peter Summers/Reuters

The University and College Union has strongly criticised the decision to cut staff benefits, as the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s June monitoring report reveals a surplus of £1.8bn and universities prepare to embark on billions of pounds in capital expenditure.

Weekly Roundup: DB or not DB, that is the question


This week – new proposals that could accelerate the demise of DB schemes, the government bids to restart a stalled conversation on civil servants’ early pensions access, XPS suggests a way of gaming the system, and the risk transfers trade hits new heights.