PTL Blog

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

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

Tour de FCA

Posted by Colin Musgreaves on Jul 13, 2017 10:15:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Defined Benefit, DB Risks

Who wants to live forever?

Posted by Eddie Hopkins on Jul 12, 2017 2:17:22 PM

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.

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Topics: Defined Benefit, DB Risks

What do Austin Powers and Defined Benefit Pension Schemes have in common?

Posted by Candace Benger on Apr 14, 2016 10:34:44 AM

Austin Powers.  A funny albeit slightly ridiculous tale of a super spy who has been unfrozen in order to save the world from his also unfrozen arch enemy Dr Evil. 

They both, however, encounter acclimatisation issues when they realise that it's no longer the 1960s; a world of free love and rock and roll, £I million dollars is a mere drop in the ocean to hard core criminals and defined benefit pension schemes are like gold dust. 

The world they knew had gone and it was time to change and adapt to the new one they found themselves in...

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Topics: Defined Contribution, Pensions, Defined Benefit, independent trustee uk

Do sweat the small stuff

Posted by Paul Ratcliffe on Mar 29, 2016 12:50:51 PM

“Nothing moves quickly in pensions.” That’s a quote I used to hear a lot during the time I have been working in the industry, and I used to believe it.

These days however, it seems that things have been moving very fast indeed. Whether it’s the new flexibilities, the end of contracting out, or changes to the annual allowance, to name but a few, it seems there’s always something that needs doing urgently and always a deadline looming.

With all that going on, it’s understandable that the day to day can sometimes get overlooked. It’s very tempting to find comfort in the assumption that what’s been going on for years is ok, but is it?

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Topics: Pensions, Defined Benefit

De-Coding Small Lump Sum Exercises

Posted by Alison Bostock on Mar 11, 2016 11:18:06 AM

First published in Pension Funds Online, 11 March 2016

Alison Bostock looks at the benefits of the revised Code for Incentive Exercises.

The Code of Practice on Incentive Exercises is a brilliant example of the pensions industry working together to solve a problem.

Many people felt uncomfortable with cash incentives offered to members to transfer out their DB pensions or give up their future pension increases.

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Topics: Defined Contribution, Pensions, Defined Benefit, dc, decoding, lump sum

Panning for gold in an age of information

Posted by Richard Butcher on Jan 27, 2016 9:43:29 AM

First published in Pensions Age – By Sarah Cowburn  January 25, 2016

Any Other Business: The mounting complexity of pension trusteeship has been met by a surge of information and intelligence sources. But how can trustees be successful prospectors as they mine the industry for useful nuggets?

Unparalleled change across the industry has challenged trustees to keep up with the legislators over the past 18 months.

The proliferation of information now available – via websites, online guides, seminars, webinars, teach-ins, dial-ins and conferences – will have helped many trustees through difficult periods, but with so many new options available trustees may struggle to cut through the noise to the information they really need.

Richard Butcher, managing director at professional trustee company PTL, said trustees have to be disciplined and mindful of the commercial environment in which they are operating.

“The landscape has woken up to the fact that trustees are a source of business,” he said. “Everybody is setting things up… to try and get trustees round the table so they have the opportunity to ply them with wine and sell their wares.”

This means that “you could spend every hour of every day reading volumes of stuff and attending volumes of meetings”.

Butcher advised that trustees seek out a range of views beyond the remit of their service provider, to gain views and insights which could become useful tools to challenge schemes’ incumbent advisers.

Instead of wading through “volumes of stuff”, Butcher said “definitive change” affecting a scheme, whether legal, regulatory or a strategic development, could be a springboard for learning something new.

To read the full article CLICK HERE

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Topics: Defined Benefit, pension trustee services, independent pension trustees, independent trustee uk, independent trustee services ltd

Gertrude Grubbe and Longevity Risk

Posted by Richard Butcher on Dec 8, 2015 9:38:39 AM

Here’s a story to think about next time you have an actuarial review of your defined benefit pension scheme...Gertrude Grubbe was borne in Blaine, Tennessee in 1909. Her life was tough but probably not untypical of the time or place. Not even her marriage was particularly unusual, although enough so to cause some local stir.

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Topics: Defined Benefit

ESG: What is it and why doesn’t it work in pension investment?

Posted by Richard Butcher on Nov 12, 2015 12:08:09 PM

Let’s start off by defining ESG (although there’s a good chance you won’t have got past the title if you didn’t know already!). ESG is the acronym for Environmental, Social and Governance.

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Topics: Defined Contribution, Pensions, Defined Benefit, dc

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