Latest articles from Benjamin Mercer

Rushing DC consolidation could hurt member outcomes


The Department for Work and Pensions wants to speed up consolidation among schemes with less than £5bn in assets. Although the initiative was broadly welcomed, experts have warned that rushing its implementation could worsen member outcomes.

Industry warns against Treasury ‘tax raid’

Rishi Sunak

Experts from across the pensions industry have warned against a rumoured “tax raid” in the autumn budget.

Fears raised of ‘a second major pensions transfer scandal’


More than 90 per cent of trustees fear their scheme members will be targeted by scammers, while more than 80 per cent are concerned that members do not understand the risks associated with transfers, or the tax implications of accessing their pensions.

MP tables bill to clarify rules around GMP conversion

News on the go

On the go: A private members’ bill has been tabled in the House of Commons that aims to amend and clarify existing rules around guaranteed minimum pension conversion.

Industry focus shifts toward the ‘S’ in ESG


Three-quarters of Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association members intend to review their social policy in the coming year, according to its response to the government’s consultation focusing on social risks and opportunities for occupational pension schemes.

Weekly Roundup: Treasury gets destroyed by facts and logic


This week – HM Treasury slammed for McCloud errors, calls for more advice over ‘fiendishly complicated’ pension freedoms, government actuary proposes cost reforms, and fraudsters posing as Dalriada trustees.

Bespoke funding route could save charities 65% in cash contributions

News on the go

On the go: Charities could cut their defined benefit cash contributions by between 35 and 65 per cent if they opt for the bespoke option over the fast-track route in the new DB funding code, according to analysis by Hymans Robertson.

More advice needed on ‘fiendishly complicated’ pension freedoms

Financial advice

Pension freedoms have presented members with “fiendishly complicated” choices and pension providers are being put off providing more guidance because of the blurred boundary between guidance and advice, a hearing of the Work and Pensions Committee has heard.

ACA warns of inadvertent damage to pensions advice market

News on the go

On the go: The Association of Consulting Actuaries has warned HM Revenue & Customs against causing accidental damage to the pensions advice market.

Government actuary proposes cost control mechanism reform


Martin Clarke, the government actuary, has proposed changing the cost-control mechanism used in the reformed public service pension schemes in a bid to tackle the “perverse outcome” of the 2016 valuation.