Latest articles from Sarah Cowburn

The Weekly Wrap: December 12 edition

A round-up of the pensions industry stories published across the FT Group, from the underperformance of UK pension schemes against other OECD member states, to tough talk on climate change from the world's largest pension funds. 


Plus, the week in numbers:

  • UK pension funds underperformed those of other OECD member states to the tune of £215bn
  • 2015 will see tougher policies in response to global climate change
  • There was a 9.1 per cent fall in total loans against commercial property from 2012 to 2013


Most read on

BT reboots flexible retirement with safety mechanism
DC is getting worse before it gets better, in three graphs
Off on a Christmas jolly? How to keep on the safe side of industry hospitality
Many young people will not actively manage savings. That's okay
How the Autumn Statement will affect your scheme (not hugely)


This week's social media comment takes aim at the Financial Conduct Authority's investigation into the annuities market.

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How to make workplace pensions relevant for younger people

Industry experts have called for education and greater flexibility in savings products for younger people, after a survey revealed exceptionally low levels of engagement among new entrants to the workforce.

Pennon saves £15m with pensionable pay cap

Utilities company Pennon has become the latest private sector employer to impose a cap on future increases in members’ pensionable pay, saving the company £15m, while installing a voluntary top-up for members.

The Weekly Wrap: December 5 edition

Jaguar (Getty) TEASER

A round-up of pensions and investment stories published across the FT Group – from Jaguar Land Rover backing down on a pension redesign, to infrastructure leading the asset classes on newly awarded UK mandates.


Plus, the week in numbers:

  • Jaguar Land Rover had hoped to cut £240m from its pension deficit with a change to career average 
  • Planned overhaul of LGPS will aim to save £660m in annual running costs
  • 15 separate infrastructure mandates awarded this year in the UK totalling £680m


Most read on

DC is getting worse before it gets better, in three graphs
How the Autumn Statement will affect your scheme (not hugely)
Wolseley moves to quell creeping opt-out rate
Schemes are falling short on data. Here are five reasons to improve
Consultants report evidence of Osborne boost to DB-DC transfers


And this week's social media comment features a debate on how to stem opt-outs.

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Concerns that DC reforms will drive pensions liberation reach MPs

Industry figures have said the guidance guarantee and independent advice are important to prevent scheme members being lured into punitive liberation schemes by the prospect of increased retirement flexibilities – a problem brought before parliament this week.

What the revised Sorp requires of your scheme reporting

Pension schemes will have to boost transparency and detail under reporting requirements in the revised statement of recommended practice by the Pensions Research Accountants Group, which comes into force next year.

Nodding heads: Are there any yes men around your trustee table?

Any other business: It’s Friday afternoon and a trustee board meeting is drawing to a close. Two legitimate options are on the table and a decision is imminent. Who takes the lead? Or more importantly… who nods their head and follows?

Wolseley moves to quell creeping opt-out rate

Plumbing products supplier Wolseley UK is working to battle a climbing opt-out rate, reflecting the challenge of keeping new joiners in workplace pension schemes despite attractive terms.

How stewardship has moved up the scheme investment agenda

As many as four out of five UK pension funds now screen their managers for stewardship activity as part of the selection process, demonstrating the growth in environmental, social and governance considerations among institutional investors.

SME to auto-enrol nine months early to ease process

Nutrition provider Dr Schär UK has completed preparations to begin auto-enrolment in January, nine months ahead of its staging date, in order to ease its reporting and payroll processes.