Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Weekly Roundup: The long-term economic plan


This week – Government’s attempt to prop up proposed Long-Term Assets Fund, response to consultation on strengthening TPR’s powers, PLSA launches new RI standards, and LCP calls for a simplification of pensions tax relief.

PASA unveils counter-fraud guidance

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On the go: The Pensions Administration Standards Association has unveiled its latest counter-fraud guidance, taking aim at scammers and looking to provide pension schemes with the tools used to counter an increase in criminal acts following the introduction of pension freedoms.

Industry welcomes govt’s new green gilts

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The government is to press ahead with “at least two” green gilt issuances later this year totalling around £15bn, and on Wednesday published its Green Financing Framework setting out its climate and environmental agenda in more detail.

Govt issues response to consultation on strengthening TPR’s powers

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The UK government has issued its response to the Pensions Regulator’s contribution notices and information-gathering powers regulations consultation.

Brunel’s Faith Ward wins environmental finance award

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On the go: Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, has been named environmental finance personality of the year by news and analysis service Environmental Finance for her work making Brunel a “sustainability leader”.

Tapping DC schemes for growth fund raises industry concern


Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly hoping to draft defined contribution schemes into propping up the government’s proposed Long-Term Assets Fund, though experts have raised concerns about its practicality.

Weekly Roundup: Size very much does matter


This week – DWP’s attempts to speed up consolidation among small schemes, fears over second pensions transfer scandal, rules over back payment of arrears ‘clarified’, and MP tables bill around GMP conversion.

Govt to reform discount rate and cost-control mechanism


The government has proposed aligning the discount rate review periods with the valuation cycles of public service pension schemes, and is taking forward reforms to the cost-cap mechanism first proposed by the government actuary.

Treasury ‘ignored advice’ in public sector pension reforms


Podcast: Ian Neale, co-founder of Aries Insight, and Claire Carey, partner at Sackers, discuss a parliamentary report identifying failings in the public sector schemes reform, industry consultation fatigue, and the new Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures reporting requirements.

High Court clarifies rules over pension back payment arrears

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The High Court has further clarified the procedure for paying arrears when a member has not claimed a back payment within the usual six-year period, confirming that scheme rules will determine whether trustees have discretion as to whether those benefits have been forfeited.