There is currently a great deal of emphasis on the consolidation of mastertrusts in the market. Perhaps there has not been enough on how this can be achieved in an orderly way, leading to a positive outcome for all.The Pension Schemes Act has begun the process of boosting mastertrust quality, with draft regulations for a stringent authorisation process awaited. The recent review of value assessments of small and medium-sized schemes, mandatory capital adequacy and a review of the charge cap will also help.
Background – What, When, Why?
The FCA ruled on 20 September that from 3 January 2018 asset managers have a legal duty to respond to requests from workplace DC governance bodies for information on transaction costs using the ‘slippage cost’ calculation methodology.
First published in Pension Funds Online, 13 April 2017
Colin Richardson discusses the importance of quality and getting value for money.
The terms "value for money" – monitored by IGCs for workplace pensions – and "good value" – assessed by trustees of occupational pensions – are not defined in legislation.
First Published in Pension Funds Online, 28 September 2017
In my latest guest blog for Pension Funds Online, I talk about the importance of the new GDPR regulations but also of my fear of getting it wrong.
I seem to remember that one of Steven King's early films was about a chap driving across America in the dead of night when, for whatever reason, a truck starts harassing him. Presumably it starts at a low level before stepping up to intimidation and then, finally, arriving at terror – it being a Steven King film, after all. Can anyone remember what that was called?
First published in Professional Pensions Online, 21 September 2017
The pensions dashboard should not be launched until it has all its ducks in a row, even if that means later than 2019.
Getting your 'ducks in a row' is one of those phrases we all know the meaning of although its origin is obscure. It was not a phrase coined by Shakespeare (always the first place to look when trying to find the origin of a phrase) but seems to have emerged later and probably as a reference to a mother duck and her ducklings. That said, other contenders for its origin include wharf side cargo bins, various sports or the metal weights used by engineers to define a curve. No one seems to know - but we do all agree that to get our ducks in a row is a good thing.
There is a common language when it comes to beer and bar snacks - we need the same for pensions.
A bizarre and weird thing happened to me the other day. I went to meet with someone I’d never met before, in a pub, not far from home.
First published in Pension Funds Online, 04 August 2017
The pensions model needs drastic change to avoid a bleak and expensive future for young savers.
Last week, the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILCUK) published a report concluding that young Britons need to save 18% of their earnings each year if they want an adequate income in retirement. They described this as being a "monumental challenge". Yep – you could say that.
The results of PTL’s recent Defined Benefit (DB) Risk survey (click here to see the results) showed that Brexit was one of trustees’ top three DB risks. So, one year on, what has happened, what are the risks and how can trustees mitigate them?
No doubt the second biggest event of the summer has been the release of the FCA Asset Management Study, albeit that it is a long way behind the start of the Tour De France - but they have something in common.
Apart from being a massive hit for Queen, this is a phrase that haunts Defined Benefit (DB) Trustees and Employers at each triennial valuation. Time after time the actuary comes to the table with the news the pension scheme members are expected to live longer, “It’s a Hard Life” for schemes “Under Pressure” of increasing liabilities.