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Pensions

Pensions

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

Pension Freedom: To Trust Or Not To Trust

A number of new pension flexibilities were introduced on 6 April this year. The majority of these are purely in respect of defined contribution (DC) or money purchase arrangements - allowing members to utilise a new flexi-access drawdown regime, make unlimited lump sum withdrawals, and purchase tailored annuity products to suit their personal circumstances.

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LChalmers

Sorting Out Company Pensions - The Time Is Now

Caroline Strathdee

Times are changing in the oil & gas sector, and the world of pensions is not standing still either.
Given the fall in oil price, employers will inevitably want to (and need to) explore cost cutting measures.  Although it can be hard to get away from pension obligations, there are steps that employers can take to reduce their pension costs, and we are seeing a number of trends in this area.

This raises both pensions and employment law issues.  Our specialist employment and pensions lawyers can guide you through the maze.

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LChalmers

Times Of Change In Oil & Gas: A Spotlight On UK Employment, Immigration And Pension Requirements

The oil and gas sector is facing challenging times.  Initiatives were being put in place to respond to concerns regarding a rising cost base and associated unit cost of production in the UK Continental Shelf when oil was trading at over $100 per barrel.  Given the rapid and substantial decline in the commodity price, the urgency to address cost reduction and to protect businesses is now a high imperative for every aspect of the sector and its supply chain.

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LChalmers

The Changing Shape Of Auto-Enrolment: Consultation Outcome

Caroline Strathdee

The DWP has just published its consultation response on changes that aim to simplify auto-enrolment. These changes have been welcomed, particularly by smaller employers who haven’t yet staged for auto-enrolment, and are due to come into force on 1 April 2015.

So what are the key changes? Will employers who have already staged need to change their processes?

Information to workers

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LChalmers

DB To DC – Lamborghinis All Round?

The news that members of final salary pension schemes are to be allowed to take advantage of the new rules on how pensions can be accessed will be welcomed by all but the most paternalistic.

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LChalmers

Liability Management: Innovation That Cuts Out The Middleman

BT's defined benefit pension scheme – the largest private sector arrangement of this type in the UK with 320,000 members and an estimated funding deficit of £8.1 billion – has recently made the news… but for positive reasons.

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LChalmers

Is Pension Reform “All About the Economy, Stupid”?

Martha Quinn

“It’s the economy, stupid” is a well known slogan used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 presidential campaign. Can a similar thing be said about the UK pension policy?
Even when markets were at their lowest, investment by UK pension schemes represented circa 71% of GDP.  Pension scheme funds are of fundamental importance to the UK and global economy. More assets under management means more market investment fuelling economic growth.

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LChalmers