PTL Blog

"You're Fired"

Posted by Richard Butcher on Apr 4, 2018 10:35:43 AM

First published in Pension Funds Online, 29 March 2018

Alan Sugar has it easy. 

He takes on a dozen, keen, unnaturally good looking, usually young and ambitious individuals, he sets them challenges and he watches them perform. Then, one by one, he fires them. The last one standing becomes his apprentice. It’s a simple, low cost, low risk process.

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Topics: investment management, db funding, asset manager, independent pension trustee

Dodging a Dangerous Dogs Act moment

Posted by Richard Butcher on Feb 28, 2018 12:27:24 PM

First published in Professional Pensions, 14 February 2018

Any day now, although perhaps I should say any season, the DWP’s white paper will emerge, covering a raft of pension policies. This was originally conceived to put forward solutions and law changes to ease the defined benefit funding “crisis”. Its mission now seems to have morphed somewhat into something more minty than white.

The collapse of Carillion and the emerging back story led Theresa May to propose new powers for the Regulator: perhaps to veto dividend payments, or impose punitive fines or bonus clawbacks on wayward directors.

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Topics: Defined Benefit, db funding, trusteeship, defined benefit risks, pensionsindustry, independent pension trustee

Mastertrust Consolidation...at what cost?

Posted by Colin Richardson on Nov 15, 2017 11:46:21 AM

First published in Pensions Expert, 15 November 2017

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.
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Topics: Defined Contribution, mastertrusts, independent pension trustee

Slippage Costs: What does it all mean?

Posted by Donny Hay on Oct 12, 2017 8:30:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Transaction costs, investment transaction costs, slippage, slippagecosts, independent pension trustee

Costs, charges and the highest quality

Posted by Colin Richardson on Oct 5, 2017 3:18:39 PM

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.

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Topics: investment management, investment, value for money, investment transaction costs, Tranaction Costs

GDPR Juggernaut

Posted by Richard Butcher on Oct 2, 2017 8:58:51 AM

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?

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Topics: data protection, gdpr, independent pension trustee

Ducks and Dashboards

Posted by Richard Butcher on Sep 21, 2017 11:41:37 AM

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.

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Topics: pension dashboard, budget, pensionsindustry

A Man Walks into a Bar

Posted by Richard Butcher on Aug 16, 2017 9:15:14 AM

First published in Pensions Insight, 15 August 2017

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. 

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Topics: Transaction costs, investment management, investment, investment transaction costs

A perfect savings storm for the youngsters

Posted by Richard Butcher on Aug 9, 2017 11:16:48 AM

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.

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Topics: Pensions

Brexit Investment Implications for UK Pension Schemes

Posted by Donny Hay on Jul 17, 2017 3:03:48 PM

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?

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Topics: Defined Benefit, defined benefit risks

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