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Pensions

Pensions

Derailed by Pensions

Margaret Meehan

You may have seen Richard Branson’s recent blog, predicting that his Virgin Trains business could be gone from the UK by November after shareholder Stagecoach was disqualified on three rail franchise bids. The reason for Stagecoach’s disqualification was its refusal to meet the stipulated requirements for pension provision. On the one hand, the moral of the story is simple: don’t bid for a contract if you can’t meet its requirements. Indeed, other bidders for the rail franchises agreed to meet the pension requirements, so why couldn’t Stagecoach?

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Burness admin

How to make people care about pensions

Andrew Black

You might be surprised to hear that I don’t know very much about my own pension. Lots and lots about other people’s pensions, but only a little about my own.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Many people know very little about their pension schemes. The result is a population that is underprepared for retirement or makes bad decisions (or no decision at all) when it does need to act.

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Burness admin

GMP equalisation – the time is now

Sarah Phillips

As you may have seen, the High Court has ruled that pension schemes must equalise for the effect of unequal Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs). While this decision did not come as a surprise (we have all known of the need to deal with the unequal application of GMPs for some time), it will have significant implications for most defined benefit pension schemes. Thankfully, the decision is helpful because it provides some guidance on how schemes should go about equalising GMPs, which has always been the issue.

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Burness admin

Pensions Just Got Tougher

Following the recent pensions scandals arising out of the collapses of BHS, Carillion, and most recently, Toys R Us, you may have heard reports from the press that employers who neglect their pension responsibilities may soon face criminal sanctions.

There is a real focus now on ensuring pensions schemes are run well, and ever increasing pressure on companies to get this right.

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Burness admin

Softer Approach On Pensions Changes Restores Employer's Trust And Confidence

In the space of a week, the Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of 2 household names, IBM and the BBC, in judgments about the good faith duties owed by employers to their employees in the context of pensions.

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Burness admin

Pensions And Same Sex Partners: Equality Wins But What Does It Mean For Your Scheme?

Sarah Phillips

On 12 July, the Supreme Court delivered its decision on the landmark case of Walker v Innospec Limited and others, overturning two lower appeal courts and ruling that Mr Walker’s husband is entitled to the same pension rights as an equivalent female spouse. While undoubtedly a victory for equality, the decision also has the potential to cause headaches for employers, trustees and pension providers.

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LChalmers

GDPR And The Pensions Industry: Your First Steps

Sarah Phillips

The new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will replace existing European data protection law from 25 May 2018. The changes being introduced are significant and there is a lot to do to get ready.  

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LChalmers

Brexit – Are There any Implications for UK Pension Schemes?

Sarah Philips

How time flies.  Two years ago when we were discussing the Scottish Independence Referendum, the potential impact on UK pension schemes of a vote by Scots to leave the United Kingdom was significant.  The question now is: “Do the same issues arise in relation to the referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union?”.  Thankfully the answer is “no”.  But there are still some issues to consider.   And although it is clear that there would be a lengthy transition period if the UK votes to leave the EU, it is worth considering the risks now in order to

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LChalmers

Pensions: What's On Your Agenda?

There are three key issues that should be on every pension scheme employer’s agenda for the final quarter of 2015.

Power to return surplus to employers

Many pension schemes have a power to return surplus to their sponsoring employer even where the scheme is not in wind-up, subject to the statutory requirements being met.

From 6 April 2016 this power will be lost, unless steps are taken to preserve it.  A relatively straightforward document is all that is required, but three months’ advance notice must be given before it can be put in place.

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LChalmers

Surrendering Privacy for Employment Benefits

On Tuesday, I attended the International Pension & Employee Benefits Lawyers Association conference in Brussels to talk about whether privacy concerns are getting in the way of delivering benefits (such as pensions) to employees. I was joined by counterparts from the USA and Canada in a lively panel discussion.

My view is that privacy concerns don't get in the way of delivering benefits in the UK. However they place hurdles that need to be considered by benefit providers to ensure data protection obligations are met.

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LChalmers