Latest articles from Tom Higgins

Peers valued for ESG guidance as data concerns hamper reliability


When it comes to guidance on environmental, social and governance matters, pension professionals prefer to rely on their peers instead of asset managers, consultants and industry bodies, as clear messaging is dependant on transparent data, experts say.

Deficit woes deepen as shortfall continues to plague USS

University graduates (teaser)

The deficit of the Universities Superannuation Scheme now exceeds £15bn as an increase in assets was outweighed by rising liabilities, in a year the pension fund’s portfolio performed below its benchmark for the first time since 2013.

FirstGroup explores change in DB scheme discount rate

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Bus and train operator FirstGroup is to engage in “strategic discussions” with its trustees, after the funding valuation for the First UK Bus Pension Scheme was finalised and improvements were made to its technical provisions.

Weekly Roundup: US DoJ intervenes; elsewhere, justice is sought

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This week — A mega-merger is abandoned after a US Department of Justice intervention, an employer seeks damages from Plumbing Pensions, TPR is reviewing the schemes eligible for fraud compensation and the government is to open a new public sector scheme for judges

DC consolidation ‘too far, too soon’ but is an inevitability, experts say

News on the go

On the go: The Department of Work and Pensions' proposals on consolidation within the defined contribution market go “too far, too soon”, and risk eroding the involvement of employers in their workforce’s retirement outcomes, experts have warned.

Almost a third of tranche 14 schemes in surplus

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Detailed analysis of triennial valuations with due dates up to January 2021 shows that almost one in three defined benefit and hybrid schemes are in surplus, but many pension funds face a headwind due to falling interest rates.

TPR reviews schemes eligible for Fraud Compensation Fund


The Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund are undertaking a review of schemes that may be eligible for the Fraud Compensation Fund, following uncertainty surrounding instances where no independent trustee has been appointed to a scheme.

Green bonds and greenwashing: Investors yet to be convinced

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After new details about UK’s first sovereign green bonds were received positively by the pensions industry, the excitement seems to be dissipating, since the summer 2021 launch date will be missed and scepticism remains about the motives and effectiveness of the scheme.

PIE exercises can be a 'win-win' for schemes under current conditions

News on the go

On the go: Improved regulatory clarity and rising inflation rates could mean now is the time for DB pension schemes to consider offering a pension increase exchange to their members, according to LCP.

Calls for government to review minimum pension age hike

News On the Go

On the go: Wealth manager Quilter has called on the government to reverse proposals to raise the normal minimum pension age to 57, saying the move is complex and will do little for people’s retirements.