Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

UCU mulls industrial action as USS sponsors reject benefits modelling

University graduates (teaser)

The University and College Union is to decide “in the coming days” whether to press ahead with industrial action after its newly released 'benefits modeller', aiming to show how much members stand to lose under controversial proposals by the Universities Superannuation Scheme, was dismissed by employer representatives.

TPR: Trustees must ‘improve their understanding’ of liquidity risks

News on the go

On the go: Trustees need to improve their understanding of liquidity risks and do more to monitor and mitigate against them, the Pensions Regulator has said.

Police officers let down by poor McCloud communication


Podcast: Quietroom development lead Joe Craig and Taylor Wessing senior associate Hadassah Shulman discuss the implications of the McCloud remedy for police officers, simpler annual statements, and the government’s anti-scam proposals.

TPR looks to clarify new contribution notice tests

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Regulator has called for the pensions industry to give its views on the application of new contribution notice tests stemming from the Pension Schemes Act.

Weekly Roundup: Does anyone have a charger I could borrow?


This week – DWP’s DC charging structure riles master trusts, TPR unveils its latest annual funding statement, new bill that allows DWP to loan money to the PPF, and the BMA’s move to exclude members from the planned pension age hike.

TPR urges trustees to remain vigilant of sponsor activity

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The Pensions Regulator has used its latest annual funding statement to call for trustees to remain vigilant of weakening employer covenants and corporate activity, while laying out guidance on how to approach scheme valuations under the current challenging conditions brought by the pandemic.

Fiduciary managers survive Covid scare with strategies intact

News on the go

On the go: Most fiduciary managers had positive returns in 2020 without needing to change their investment strategies in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, analysis from XPS has shown.

DWP DC single charging structure to bring headaches for master trusts


The Department for Work and Pensions is considering introducing a universal charging structure for the default funds in defined contribution schemes. The move was welcomed for the clarity it might give to DC savers, but experts have warned of the problems it would cause master trusts such as Nest.

Russell Group universities propose USS compromise

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Russell Group has backed the Universities Superannuation Scheme trustee’s suggested “lower-cost, more flexible” alternative to the existing scheme structure.

SPP, PMI criticise rushed code of practice consultation


The Society of Pension Professionals and the Pensions Management Institute have both criticised the timeframe of the Pensions Regulator’s consultation on its combined code of practice, raising the prospect of its flawed and costly implementation.