Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Master trust competition hots up despite consolidation

Data crunch

Data crunch: The majority of master trusts are targeting defined contribution schemes in a bid to boost their assets under management, leading to heightened competition in a marketplace where there is scepticism about acquiring rivals.

Weekly Roundup: It’s a revolution, comrades!

Windfarm_sunset (teaser)

Welcome to Pensions Expert’s roundup of a week that saw the Department for Work and Pensions publish its horrifically long response to the ‘Taking action on climate risk’ consultation, in which allegedly Conservative minister Guy Opperman promised a “revolution”.

Industry body proposes general levy cap

Pound coins (teaser)

The Society of Pension Professionals has criticised the government’s plans to introduce a 120 per cent general levy hike for defined benefit schemes.

GMP tax guidance expected to land in February

News On the Go

On the go: Guidance from the Pensions Administration Standards Association on the tax implications of guaranteed minimum pensions equalisation is expected to be published next month, according to an update from the body’s dedicated working group.

Trustees demand greater access to technology to support their role

News On the Go

On the go: The coronavirus pandemic has seen off the quarterly meeting cycle, with 80 per cent of trustees agreeing that ad hoc and online meetings are the way forward, according to new research.

PPF halves small scheme levy but warns of future rate hikes

News On the Go

On the go: The Pension Protection Fund has confirmed it will halve the levy for schemes with less than £20m in liabilities in order to “better reflect the risk posed by small schemes”, according to the final version of its 2021-22 levy rules.

DWP proceeds with ‘revolutionary’ climate change agenda


The Department for Work and Pensions has proposed broadening the scope of climate risk analysis to cover not just the environmental impact of pension schemes’ portfolios, but also sponsor covenants and actuarial valuations.

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.