Pensions - Articles

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Pensions ISAS "George Osborne's 'Gordon Brown' moment?"

In a hard-hitting speech at Friday’s annual conference of the Association of Consulting Actuaries, Royal London Director of Policy Steve Webb will compare the ‘Pensions ISA’ proposal to former Chancellor Gordon Brown’s notorious tax raid on occupational pension schemes. Steve Webb will say:
Posted on Friday Feb 5

Income drawdown tops the list of issues for advised clients

New research from Aegon UK has found that, for the majority of advisers, pension freedoms have been their key client issue over the last year.
Posted on Thursday Feb 4

Employees unable to make the most of Pensions Freedoms

The vast majority of employers have not reviewed their pension offering in light of Pension Freedom; they struggle with how to manage the implications; and do not believe their employees understand the new flexibilities: reveals research from Jelf Employee Benefits.
Posted on Wednesday Feb 3

Good fiduciary management cuts volatility and funding gaps

UK Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes that outsourced their investments to Willis Towers Watson on a fiduciary management basis experienced one third of the volatility and substantially better gains in funding levels than the average scheme.

Posted on Wednesday Feb 3

ABI speech at APPG on pension tax relief

Yvonne Braun's remarks on pensions tax relief at joint APPG meeting on Financial Services and Pension. The Chancellor has many important decisions to make next month, but one stands out for its impact on people's financial security in retirement and on future generations - how to reform pension tax relief. All the signs are that he has not yet made up his mind.
Posted on Wednesday Feb 3

75% believe they will be worse off in retirement

Nearly three-quarters of UK employees believe they are facing a less comfortable retirement than their parents’ generation, according to research by Willis Towers Watson. The 2015 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey* found that while 60% of people in their 50s are unworried about their immediate or long-term finances, employees in their 30s are the most likely to be worried about both, with 1-in-5 (20%) seen as ‘struggling’.
Posted on Wednesday Feb 3

Members doing the unthinkable and giving up DB accruals

This April’s reductions to pensions tax allowances, combined with rumours of further restrictions to be introduced in March’s Budget, are causing large number of high earners to consider voluntarily giving up the accrual of Defined Benefit pension benefits.
Posted on Tuesday Feb 2

EIOPA consults on an EU single market for personal pensions

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published today a Consultation Paper on its advice related to the development of an EU Single Market for personal pension products (PPPs).
Posted on Tuesday Feb 2

Refreshed Code, more ‘freedom and choice' for DB pensions

Increased clarity about what represents good practice and how that will apply in future could bring more ‘freedom and choice’ to members of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, Willis Towers Watson says.
Posted on Monday Feb 1

Latest pension funding update - JLT Employee Benefits

JLT Employee Benefits (JLT) has updated its monthly index, showing the funding position of all UK private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes under the standard accounting measure (IAS19) used in company reports and accounts.

Posted on Monday Feb 1

Comment on tPR's 'master trusts pose risk to members'

In reaction to The Pension Regulator’s warnings that master trusts pose risk to members, Fiona Matthews, Managing Director of LifeSight (Willis Towers Watson’s UK DC master trust) comments

Posted on Friday Jan 29

AE Compliance and Enforcement report from tPR

Our latest report on automatic enrolment tells us that more than 90% of the first small and micro employers to reach the date their workplace pensions duties start have now complied with the law, showing that automatic enrolment is successful for all sizes of employer. Since the start of automatic enrolment:
Posted on Friday Jan 29

Number of large schemes increase as market concentrates

New figures published today by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) show further evidence of market concentration in the largest defined contribution (DC) schemes.
Posted on Thursday Jan 28

Small and Micro employers rising to AE challenge

NEST reveals first insights on small and micro employers who met their duties in June 2015, ahead of the majority of small and micro employers staging this year
Posted on Thursday Jan 28

SIPP and SSAS provider reports £40m worth of new properties

Xafinity SIPP and SSAS, part of Xafinity Group the pensions specialists, has reported a 25% increase in commercial property investment.
Posted on Thursday Jan 28

Pension Freedoms: No more normal, it's pioneer territory

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association today (Thursday) published Pension Freedoms: no more normal, the third report in its Understanding Retirement research series. It is the first major market-wide survey of who did what and why in the first six months of the pension freedoms, and was conducted using research to map the decision-making process for over four million individuals aged 55-70.
Posted on Thursday Jan 28

Employers need to get ready for the new Lifetime Allowance

The Lifetime Allowance drops from £1.25 million to £1m on 6 April 2016. The Lifetime Allowance is the total amount individuals can save in their private pensions without attracting a tax charge. Employers may think this is just an employee issue and of little concern to them. But pensions are a workplace issue and employers have a role to play in helping their employees and may have to assess their remuneration policies.

Posted on Thursday Jan 28

Royal London comments on HMRC flexible payment figures

Commenting on today’s flexible pension payment data from HMRC, Fiona Tait, Pensions Specialist at Royal London, said:
Posted on Wednesday Jan 27

EIOPA: Consistent approach to group Solvency calculation

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published today an Opinion on the application of a combination of methods to the group solvency calculation.

Posted on Wednesday Jan 27

Women closing pension savings gap following pension freedoms

7% of the UK’s female population are on track for the retirement income they aspire to according to new research from Aegon UK, a 2% increase since April 2015. With this increase, women are narrowing the gap and are now just 3% behind men when it comes to their readiness for retirement.
Posted on Wednesday Jan 27

Results of the 1st EU stress test for occupational pensions

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) today announced the results of the European Union stress test for Occupational Pensions. The objectives of the stress test were to produce a comprehensive picture of the heterogeneous European occupational pensions’ landscape; to test resilience of defined benefits (DB) and hybrid pension schemes against adverse market scenarios and increased life expectancy; to identify potential vulnerabilities of defined contribution (DC) schemes; and to reveal areas that require further supervisory focus.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 26

Pension schemes slow to embrace drawdown

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of trust-based pension schemes have yet to provide access to a Flexi Access Drawdown Facility (FADF) for their members nearly a year after the Chancellor announced new pension freedoms for members, according to research by Willis Towers Watson. This means that a significant proportion of members will need to find their own solution if they wish to take advantage of flexible drawdown in the immediate future.
Posted on Tuesday Jan 26

Aegon highlights hidden risks of breaking Lifetime Allowance

Aegon has prepared figures showing when customers approaching retirement are in the danger zone of falling foul of the Lifetime Allowance. With the maximum fund allowable falling to £1m from April, even those not planning to take an income for 10 years need to take care of their fund is approaching £650,000.
Posted on Monday Jan 25

3 key reasons for a flat rate pension tax relief

Ahead of the Budget in March, the AB is outlining why a new ‘Savers’ Bonus’, or single rate of tax relief, would produce a simpler, fairer and more sustainable system for pension savings, and would encourage people to save more for retirement.
Posted on Monday Jan 25

Comment on Equity Release Council 2015 sales figures

After the publication the Equity Release Council of 2015 figures showing record sales of £1.61bn, Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Retirement, commented:
Posted on Monday Jan 25

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