Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Firefighters reach pensions agreement with government


A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the government and the Fire Brigades Union over pension rules for retained firefighters, potentially allowing thousands to claim pension entitlements dating back earlier in their careers once legislation is passed.

Govt to compensate judges for additional McCloud tax bills

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The Ministry of Justice has announced it will compensate judges who incur additional tax liabilities as a result of the immediate choice they will take later this year, while other departments left their proposals largely unchanged following consultations on phase one of the McCloud remedy.

Staffordshire University staff to walk out over pension reform

News on the go

On the go: Staff at Staffordshire University are set to walk out over plans to hire new staff through a subsidiary company, meaning they will not be given access to a defined benefit pension.

USS discourages use of alternative benefits modellers

News on the go

On the go: The Universities Superannuation Scheme has discouraged members from using alternative benefits modellers to work out how they will fare following the conclusion of the scheme’s 2020 valuation, warning that they operate on very different assumptions to those agreed by employers and the trustee.

Govt’s dashboard proposals cause widespread industry concerns


The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has recommended three thresholds that must be met before pensions dashboards are launched to the public, but there is widespread industry concern around liability for incorrect or misinterpreted information, and significant doubts whether its launch is achievable by the government’s preferred dates.

Weekly Roundup: Opperman needs help


This week – Pensions minister bemoans lack of long-term vision in industry, government confirms it will impose McCloud remedy costs on public sector schemes, dashboards’ staging deadline slated as too ambitious, and Abrdn and XPS announce DB master trust launch.

Is this really the right time for auto-enrolment expansion?


Podcast: LCP partner Mary Spencer and Cartwright’s director of investment consulting Sam Roberts debate the merits of expanding auto-enrolment, discuss pension schemes’ reaction to war in Ukraine, and explore the industry’s readiness for long-term inflation.

Opperman slates lack of long-term vision in pensions, hints at reshuffle

Guy Opperman

Pensions minister Guy Opperman has suggested a reshuffle may be on the cards, and has criticised a perceived lack of long-term vision in the pensions industry.

TPR not ruling out ‘value for money’ league tables

News on the go

On the go: The Pensions Regulator is considering league tables as a way of implementing a new value for money framework for pension schemes, though it is not “leaning towards” them at present.

Strike suspended as schools and unions meet over teachers’ pensions

News on the go

On the go: Unions have suspended plans for more strike action at 23 private schools to allow talks to take place over planned changes to teachers’ pensions.