Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Debenhams’ schemes to remain in PPF despite Boohoo acquisition

News On the Go

On the go: Struggling high street retailer Debenhams has been brought out of administration by online ‘fast fashion’ outlet Boohoo, but the transaction is understood to leave its two pension schemes in the Pension Protection Fund.

Thousands warn of ‘unjustified’ USS discount rate rises

More than 3,000 people have written to the trustees of the Universities Superannuation Scheme to criticise proposed changes to the valuation methodology that, they say, will result in its members and employers being overcharged by the scheme.

Weekly Roundup: We hold these truths to be self-evident

Biden inauguration (teaser)

Welcome to Pensions Expert’s roundup of a week that saw a belatedly peaceful, orderly transition of power from an irascible old man to a deeply forgetful older one, heralding a truly remarkable achievement for diversity and representation.

New powers in Pension Schemes Act could cause bankruptcies

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Podcast: New criminal provisions in the Pension Schemes Act are so broadly drafted that they could strangle legitimate business activity, potentially resulting in unnecessary bankruptcies. So says Arc Pensions Law partner Jane Kola, who, along with Society of Pension Professionals president James Riley, warn about the potentially dire consequences and call for more clarity from the regulator.

How schemes can navigate the post-Covid recovery

Defined benefit schemes should use the post-Covid recovery to conduct a thorough postmortem of the effects of 2020’s events on their portfolios and strategies, according to Barnett Waddingham.

‘Challenging’ 2020 forces 80% of DB schemes to reassess portfolios

News On the Go

On the go: Eighty per cent of defined benefit pension schemes plan to reassess their investment portfolios after the events of 2020 put returns in doubt, according to research by the Pensions Management Institute and River and Mercantile.

Clarity on dashboards, but delays taint Pension Schemes Act

The government fought off opposition amendments to the Pension Schemes Act in the House of Lords on Tuesday, keeping its dashboards options open — but experts have warned that many of the act’s more substantive changes could be delayed until 2022.

Biden and EU to act as ESG ‘catalyst’ for UK schemes

Joe Biden (teaser)

The confluence of Joe Biden’s inauguration as US president this week and a new raft of rules from the EU in March will serve as a catalyst for the development of environmental, social and governance standards, experts have said.

New pensions act offences have ‘far-reaching consequences’, LCP warns

News On the Go

On the go: New powers granted to the Pensions Regulator by the Pension Schemes Act could see directors, lenders and trustees made criminally liable for their mistakes, LCP has warned.

Flat fees ban is a ‘sticking plaster’ on small pots wound

The Department for Work and Pensions’ proposed ban on flat fees on pots under £100 should be seen as a temporary stopgap, not a permanent solution to the small pots problem, industry figures have warned.