Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

TPR’s new guidance on mandatory AE reporting causes confusion

Updated guidance from the Pensions Regulator will see the 90-day limit for reporting late payments becoming mandatory from April 2021. However, the wording of the guidance has caused some confusion, with schemes being asked to make the adjustment for January 1.

Mercer launches DB master trust as demand for consolidation increases

Mercer has launched a new defined benefit master trust promising sponsors enhanced governance and economies of scale, amid an accelerating trend towards consolidation and outsourced solutions, with pensions minister Guy Opperman stating that “bigger is better”.

Credit downgrades pose ‘serious challenge’ for pension schemes

On the go: A decrease in the average credit quality of fixed income indices, coupled with increased competition for high-quality assets, poses significant challenges for pensions schemes, according to Axa Investment Managers.

DB schemes over-reliant on ‘historically improbable’ returns

On the go: Underfunded defined benefit schemes in the UK will require “once-in-a-century” equity performance if they are to avoid carrying their funding gaps well into the 2030s, according to a new report from Willis Towers Watson.

Global Pensions Wrap: September edition


Our monthly roundup of the best international pensions stories published by the FT’s outlets, featuring US public pensions facing soaring funding gaps, schemes suing McDonalds over allegedly toxic work culture, and a new report casting doubt on the outperformance of sustainable funds.

Rail sector pension plan staring down £15bn black hole

On the go: The largest pension scheme serving the UK’s rail sector is standing on the event horizon of a £15bn black hole created by changes to its funding rules, the Financial Times has reported.

Bulk annuity volumes hit £12.6bn in H1 2020

On the go: Total buy-in and buyout volumes reached £12.6bn in the first half of this year, the second-highest value on record, according to analysis published by LCP.

Smaller schemes to prove value for members or face consolidation

Defined contribution schemes with assets below £100m will have to prove their value for members, or face being advised to wind up or consolidate, according to new rules proposed by the Department for Work and Pensions.

DB schemes could be ‘doomed to failure’ by new funding code

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Podcast: Defined benefit schemes could be “doomed to failure by measures that are designed to help them”, warns Baroness Ros Altmann, referring to the proposed new funding code.

LCP: ‘Pot-follows-member’ could solve small pots problem

On the go: The government has been urged to look again at a ‘pot-follows-member’ solution to the small pots problem plaguing auto-enrolment and master trusts.