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Retirement Living Standards accessible to 35 million savers

Up to 35 million savers now have access to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA)’s Retirement Living Standards through their pension scheme’s communications.
Posted on Tuesday May 17

Third of in app pension payments made by easy bank transfer

New analysis from leading online pension provider, PensionBee, reveals that over a third (35%) of new customers made in-app pension contributions via ‘easy bank transfer’, between 1 February and 30 April 2022.
Posted on Tuesday May 17

Low risk pension transfers halted due to flaws in new rules

New Freedom of Information (FOI) data from the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) gathered by wealth manager, Quilter, reveals an acceleration in the number of MaPS scam guidance sessions following new pension transfer rules introduced in November 2021, but indicates amber flags are being raised on potentially low-risk transfers relating to overseas investments.
Posted on Monday May 16

Proposals will not open a flood of DC money into illiquids

The ACA has responded to the DWP consultation on Facilitating Investment in Illiquid Assets. The response recognises the benefits that investing in illiquid assets may bring to members of DC schemes, but says it isn’t convinced that the proposals to incorporate statements in oft ignored compliance documents will facilitate their adoption.
Posted on Thursday May 12

Pension withdrawals decline as economic uncertainty rises

New analysis from PensionBee, reveals that average quarterly withdrawal amounts for all customers declined by over 10%, from £13,132 in Q1 2021 to £11,676 in Q1 2022. Both male and female savers opted to keep more of their pension invested as their withdrawal rates decreased by 10% and 12% respectively.
Posted on Thursday May 12

Facilitating investment in illiquid assets by DB pensions

Commenting on the DWP consultation “Facilitating investment in illiquid assets by defined contribution pension schemes”, Callum Stewart, Head of DC Investment, says:
Posted on Wednesday May 11

Queens Speech could provide boost for annuities

The Queen’s Speech included the Financial Services and Markets Bill which will revoke EU regulation on financial services and replace it with one designed for the UK. This will include reforming Solvency II which is already the subject of an ongoing consultation. Solvency II governs how much capital insurance companies must hold and the types of assets they can invest in. Loosening of the regulation could add a further boost to annuity rates which have already been on the rise in recent months.
Posted on Wednesday May 11

Pensions world not holding its breath ahead of Queens Speech

Ahead of the Queen’s speech, James Jones-Tinsley at BW shares his thoughts on what he would like to hear.
Posted on Tuesday May 10

Profit warning from firms with DB pension schemes increase

The number of profit warnings from UK listed companies with a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme increased 46% year-on-year (y/y), from 13 in Q1 2021 to 19 in Q1 2022.
Posted on Tuesday May 10

PPF release latest PPF 7800 Index figures for April 2022

This update provides the latest estimated funding position, on a section 179 (s179) basis, for the defined benefit pension schemes potentially eligible for entry to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
Posted on Tuesday May 10

Five individuals banned for losses to pension customers

The FCA has prohibited five directors of financial advice firms from working in financial services and fined them over £1 million, after they caused significant losses to pension customers.
Posted on Monday May 9

The Queens Speech what to look out for on pensions next week

Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, on next week’s Queen’s Speech (10th May) which marks the State Opening of Parliament and the beginning of a new parliamentary session. The speech will set out the programme of legislation that the Government intend to pursue in the forthcoming parliamentary session. Online Safety Bill to make its second year appearance in the Queen’s Speech. Pensions Bill a notable absence
Posted on Friday May 6

High inflation failing to ease LDI liquidity concerns

Current high levels of inflation are causing strain on LDI collateral pools as a result of rising gilt yields, and DB Schemes must take action, Hymans Robertson warns. The leading pensions and financial services consultancy says that DB Trustees must do much more to stress test their pool especially as further interest rate rises remain likely over the remainder of this year. Trustees must ensure there is an acceptable level of resilience in place.
Posted on Thursday May 5

TPR spot checks to be targeted at suspect employers

Employers suspected of failing to meet their workplace pensions duties are being targeted with spot check inspections. The majority of employers visited by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are those which have failed to make the correct pensions contributions for their staff.
Posted on Thursday May 5

DB pensions in surplus as inflation figure hits 30 year high

The funding status for the 5,000-plus corporate defined benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK continues to show that schemes are, on average, in a surplus position, according to PwC’s Pension Trustee Funding Index.
Posted on Wednesday May 4

New enforcement and prosecution policies from TPR

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published for consultation its new, consolidated and simpler draft enforcement policy and an updated prosecution policy to help those facing or affected by enforcement action understand the regulator’s approach.
Posted on Wednesday May 4

Month end FTSE 350 pension scheme deficits hit 2 year low

Deficits fell from £69bn to £45bn over the month driven by bond yield increases. Accounting liabilities fall to £784bn while asset values also fell. Pensions Regulator urges Trustees to review their governance and risk management
Posted on Wednesday May 4

Women retiring with male partner lose out on pension savings

New analysis from PensionBee reveals that many women could lose out on as much as £225,000 in pension savings, should they retire at the same time as their male partner.
Posted on Wednesday May 4

PLSA Policy Board appoints six new members

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has appointed six new members to its Policy Board, following a comprehensive selection process.
Posted on Tuesday May 3

Thousands could risk pension poverty after divorce

The average age of divorce is now 47 for a man and 44 for a woman. One in seven (15%) didn't realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced. A third (34%) made no claim on their former partner's pension when they divorced. One in twelve (8%) divorcees don't have their own pension and were relying on their partner to finance their retirement. One in five (19%) divorcees will be significantly financially worse off in retirement because of a divorce
Posted on Tuesday May 3

Impact on DB pensions from BoE base rate increase

Hymans Robertson comment on the impact on DB Schemes of the anticipated increase in Bank of England’s base rate this week.
Posted on Tuesday May 3

Need for DC pensions to review their investment approach

Aon has said the results of its ‘Better Outcomes by Design – 2022 DC Pension Scheme and Financial Wellbeing Survey’ have highlighted the need for UK defined contribution (DC) schemes to review and refine their investment approach. Schemes now need to shift their focus from tracking investment performance relative to market indices to targeting retirement outcomes for savers.
Posted on Tuesday May 3

Adults risk potential financial shortfall in later life

Over half (52%) avoid thinking about being older in retirement. Three-quarters (73%) have done little or no planning for their retirement finances. A third (34%) prefer to live for today than plan for tomorrow. However, planning can have a significant impact: planners expect retirement finances to last for 19 years vs. just 11 years for non-planners
Posted on Thursday Apr 28

Average pension transfer times up by 45 percent in 4 years

PensionBee analysis of Origo’s Pension Transfer Index has uncovered a 45% increase in the average time taken to complete a pension transfer from April 2018-March 2019 to April 2021-March 2022.
Posted on Thursday Apr 28

Pension schemes lack skills and insurance against cybercrime

According to new research from national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe. Nearly half of pension schemes (47%) do not have insurance against cybercrime attacks. 42% of all pension schemes do not have access to specialist skills to investigate cybercrime incidents, rising to 50% of small schemes. 43% of pension schemes have not tested the strength of their scheme's IT systems, processes and procedures for cybercrime protection. 29% and 63% of schemes do not use member electronic ID verification for UK and overseas members respectively, leaving them vulnerable to member identity theft.
Posted on Wednesday Apr 27

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