Latest articles from Tom Higgins

ONS data shows drop in deficit payments as life expectancy flatlines

News on the go

On the go: New data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed a significant drop in defined benefit scheme deficit repayment contributions, while the impact of the pandemic can now be seen in nationwide life expectancy data.

DC market proves resilient during pandemic but challenges remain


A continuation of positive trends alongside the benefits of auto-enrolment has shaped the defined contribution pensions space over the past year, but complications surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic have brought the need to mitigate future risks to the fore.

Dashboards programme ‘on track’ amid industry concerns

Calendar (teaser)

The pensions dashboards project is expected to remain on track to meet its publicised timeline, the programme’s principal d told a Work and Pensions Committee hearing on Wednesday, amid industry concerns that the existing timeline is not feasible.

Complexities hamper social impact bonds’ true potential

Sport England

Despite the launch of the UK’s sovereign green bond dominating the socially conscious fixed income discourse, there is still room for social impact bonds in schemes’ portfolios.

Better data needed for schemes to tackle modern slavery


As pension schemes struggle with data on modern slavery in global chains, corporate engagement takes the lead in the battle to tackle social issues.

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.